Chapter 54: OP Garlic (VIII)
There were two sheets of paper tucked away in the drawer, clearly clues left by the System for some riddle. Feng Bujue unfolded the first of them and found three clues scrawled on it: JMMJAOD, 1/4F, and 3/4F.
Feng Bujue glanced at them and disdainfully let out a “che—” sound.
He turned to the second sheet. Unlike the first document, this one was more forthcoming. It gave, in fine and neat print, a detailed description of the virus.
The virus was indeed called “Z”. And since the introduction about the Blood Wolf Zombies at the beginning of the Scenario mentioned this fact, the virus that infected the monsters above ground should be the same virus that infected the personnel down here in the research lab. But as to why the monsters became different types of zombies, that was still a mystery.
It also would also seem that an infected person had less than three hours to remove the virus. The document reported that within the first three hours the infected would experience flu-like symptoms and high fever ending with severe dementia in the last stage of infection, probably explaining why Feng Bujue was starting to have cold sweats, and why he was losing strength in his limbs. Clearly the System wouldn’t make the player exhibit symptoms of “severe dementia”. So once the virus began to affect the brain, the player would then be deemed dead and forced to quit the Scenario.
The next portion of the document described an infected’s transformation process: sporadic necrosis of cells, resulting in localized gangrene; red blood cells with increased capacity to carry oxygen, resulting in slower blood flow (decreased bleeding) and an increase in muscular strength and endurance; loss of mental capacity, resulting in a desire for living human flesh. Of course the last line said “in order to snuff out a fully infected person, extremely violent head trauma is required.”
Having finished this paragraph, Feng Bujue couldn’t help but utter, “Isn’t this just SCP008…except… the setup for the Scenario actually has an antiserum.” As he said this, his eyes had already trailed down to the last paragraph with detail regarding the antiserum.
“Experiments indicate that the antiserum is not effective on everyone. In a sample group of 390 individuals of ranging genders, ages, blood types, and race, only a total of 154 persons exhibited immunity to virus or loss of symptoms after administration of antiserum. Thus the probability of the antiserum working in an individual is less than 40% and at present we have found no definite pattern in (the population in) which the serum is effective.
Feng Bujue gradually felt a sense of unease settle upon him after he finished reading the document. Based on his character, the probability that he’d fail to cure himself was self-evident…. Even if he found the serum, he only has about a 40% chance of removing his【Infected】status. Otherwise…he only had two hours left. It was, unfortunately, highly improbable for him to clear the Scenario within that time limit. The only thing and most he could contribute was basically to find the serum and deliver it to the other team members.
Speaking of teammates… he understood once he received news of Atobe-sama and Lil’ Name’s death several minutes prior that this Scenario was not as simple as it appeared. Those two’s deaths were very puzzling to him, they didn’t seem to be the type to leave the munitions store and wander around without permission. So their successive deaths in such a short time was likely due to an encounter of some incredibly formidable monster in front of the munition store.
But how could there be such a monster anywhere in a city completely unrelated to the main mission? Even if it were night, the strength of the Blood Wolf Zombies increased, and they swarmed, it’s unlikely that the monsters would have been able to kill two players carrying submachine guns in the span of a few seconds.
The other thing that left Feng Bujue feeling somewhat off was the two who were with Wang Tanzhi: Pan Feng and Hua Xiong. Based on the current situation, after the two of them killed their way to the building carrying Lil’ Tan along the way, they didn’t go to the basement to the research laboratory but rather went somewhere else. Why was that? There was such a large sign in the lobby erected there and it was written quite neatly and clearly in the main mission to save a “Doctor”. The other floors were all labeled as randomly mixed departments or just straightforwardly as “Office areas”, and yet these people still went to investigate upstairs?
There were too many odd occurrences, bringing too many suspicions, but no proof for the time being so Feng Bujue chose not to think too deeply about it. He turned and walked over to the metal vault door and leaned over to peer at the combination lock on it.
“Of course it’s six-digits….” He looked at the password input keypad with an “as expected” expression and immediately typed 312928. Who’d expect that as soon as he finished typing the words ACCEPTED would pop out.
Feng Bujue understood the meaning behind this puzzle as soon as he saw it. The first clue was JMMJAOD with each letter representative of the first letters of January, March, May, July, August, October, and December: all of these months have 31 days. And the F in the the second and third clues referred to February since it is the only month that starts with the letter F. ¼ represented a leap year February with 29 days and ¾ naturally meant 28. For him, this kind of puzzle wasn’t difficult at all; he was someone who frequently needed to design puzzles. Write the clues down and give them to him, as long as the knowledge necessary for the riddle didn’t exceed the scope of his abilities, most of the time he’d be able to figure them out very quickly.
After unlocking it, Feng Bujue grabbed the handle on the vault door, spun it a few times, and then the door opened. Inside it was a relatively small room. All three walls were lined with transparent deposit boxes completely full of test tubes filled with liquid. Each row was clearly pasted with a label indicating a serial number.
Picking up a test tube immediately brought forth an item description.
【Name: Z Virus Antiserum】
【Type: Plot Item】
【Function: Has a 39.48% chance to allow the user to remove and become immune to the effects of Z Virus】
【Can it leave the Scenario: No】
【Remark: Inject it or drink it; it is ineffective on monsters or players completely transformed into zombies.】
It was immediately obvious from looking at the serial numbers that these serums were produced in batches, and perhaps their compositions differed as a consequence. At the moment, Feng Bujue couldn’t help but feel that the Z Virus was perhaps not developed by Allerbmu Corp. Maybe they tried to control it after they discovered it and attempted to develop a way to cure it.
For the time being, Feng Bujue could not delve into where the company stood in this issue. He didn’t know which batch of serums was more effective than the others so he just randomly took one from the deposit boxes and used one of the recently found syringes to empty the tube and administered himself a shot.
As soon as the needle went in, his Medical Proficiency unlocked and became rank F. Subsequently, the System notification pinged:【Congratulations on unlocking all Proficiencies in Closed Beta】
“In Closed Beta?” Feng Bujue speculated to himself, “In other words, there will be new unlockable Proficiencies?” He opened the game menu and saw that the Proficiencies column was completely unlocked. It was a good thing, but unfortunately… the【Infected】status next to his Health did not change
“Failed, as expected….” He spoke somewhat dejectedly, “How about another shot with a different one? Who knows if it’ll cause some side effect….”
Right during the moment he hesitated, the word Infected disappeared from the menu and his status changed back to【None】.
Fortunately, he hadn’t immediately closed the menu, otherwise he would’ve very likely missed this slight delay in change and unknowingly injected it again. Feng Bujue immediately let out three big laughs, having suddenly felt as if he’d risen from the dead.
He took out a test tube rack from cold storage on which were two columns and eight rows of antiserum (16 tubes). He slowly put them inside his inventory with the utmost care and with this all ten slots in his inventory full. Listed, his inventory included Mario’s Pipe Wrench, Eyes of Hatred, chef’s knife, baseball bat, flashlight, M1911A1 pistol, Echo Armor, Winchester Shotgun, antiserum, a sack of garlic.
Knight’s Dance was currently equipped on his feet and unless replaced, was unlikely to go back into inventory. Of course if it was necessary he could put on Eyes of Hatred and hold a weapon to make more space in his inventory.
Having obtained the antiserum, Feng Bujue no longer needed to continue searching the research laboratory. Originally, he came down here looking for his teammates and he never expected to get infected right as the elevator door opened. When he’d just been infected he didn’t even know how long exactly it would take for the transformation so he could only search for a possibly non-existent antiserum as quickly as he could.
And now that he wasn’t going to die because of a time limit, he still thought the best thing to do would be to head upstairs and find his teammates. Considering he now held the antiserum, there’s a chance that he might’ve set off some FLAG. If he explores further he might just encounter a mini-BOSS; since he himself is already immune to the virus, it wouldn’t be worth it for him to take further risks right now.
As soon as he came to this conclusion, a System notification went off:【Current mission completed, Main mission has been updated】
“What?” Feng Bujue was completely surprised, “Don’t tell me Dr. Ashford really wasn’t in the basement? The three of them going upstairs was the right way and they’ve already rescued the Doctor?”
He quickly opened the menu to see what the next mission after successfully rescuing the doctor was. Shockingly, the outcome was:【Defeat Dr. Ashford’s transformed body】