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Chapter 8: Multiplayer Training Mode (IV)


“January 10, if I didn’t see it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t believe the things this child has done. A spoon just floating in that sort of way and warped into other shapes by him……

January 13, he said he senses people watching him, lots and lots of people. Said he was very afraid……  

January 16, he seems to be no longer afraid. Occasionally he’ll show a smile, yet he’s become uncommunicative……

January 17, all test results are normal, among us six, not even one can explain what’s happened to this child’s body……

January 19, he’s started drawing. Although his parents state that in the past he’s never shown any talent for drawing, yet nevertheless he is able to draw absolutely lifelike sketches……

January 22, he unceasingly demands paper and pencils, sleeplessly drawing. He only draws faces, and the faces in the portraits changed from ordinary-looking in the beginning to become more and more grotesque and horrifying……

January 25, faces drawn with blood have appeared on the wall. We found the dead body of a sparrow on the floor of his ward. His hands are very clean. This made me uneasy, and I remembered that spoon……

January 26, that stretch of corridor’s window has unexpectedly completely disappeared and left a solid, impenetrable wall. The previous night’s surveillance video only recorded part of a fuzzy image. Who should I ask for assistance anyway? The police? They’ll think I’ve gone mad and have me locked up……

January 30, Li Cha has gone missing. The rest of us five have become very restless. Even more bloody faces have appeared on the wall, this time we didn’t find…… I don’t know……. his corpse?

January 31, I must leave this place…… I ought to request a vacation until this child dies from his sickness…… no…… it’s better to resign!

February 1, I think I can’t escape, I already can’t find any way out of this building……if there’s someone who sees this notebook, please remember my words. He’s scared 【This has been blotted out】! Kill him if there’s a chance! Don’t hesitate! Otherwise, the one who’ll die will be you!”

   …………

Feng Bujue and Wang Tanzhi passed that one corner together. The corridor ahead was still very bright and spacious, but this time there were no doors. The walls on both sides were snow white. Another ten meters ahead was another T-shaped intersection.

The two cautiously ventured forward. After Feng Bujue extracted the contents from the notebook, he retold it in the best way not to frighten a person. But he still scared Wang Tanzhi till his face was washed in white and goosebumps raised from head to toe.

“What we need to confront isn’t a ghost but rather a superpowered child that has suffered spiritual contamination while seriously ill.” Feng Bujue summed up, “At least that’s how this scenario has been set.”

“How does knowing this help any, ah……” Wang Tanzhi’s tone showed he was still under a lot of pressure.

“First of all, in your mind, since you know that the opponent is a person, I believe that your fear will lessen somewhat.” Feng Bujue reasoned. “Secondly, we know that he has a body and therefore we can directly go up and K him.[1]

“Hey…… do you think that the person who wrote this notebook, and the other victims in this scenario…… have never tried it before?” Wang Tanzhi’s face was panic-stricken. “They had more than just two people, right?

“Did they know Explosion Boxing?” Feng Bujue asked.

“Jue Bro, I have a question…… if we hadn’t found that Skill, or if both of our Fighting Proficiencies were not activated, or again we simply did not carry out solving the mystery, then what would the situation be?”

“Then in the future when we meet him, we’ll be faced with a choice.” Feng Bujue said, “When it’s all said and done, either fight him or run away.” He considered for a moment, “If we didn’t solve the mystery, we should act depending on the circûmstances we’d encounter. For example, we’d have to come to a decision after seeing how much damage was inflicted to our Life Value. In the middle of fear and the threat of death, the difficulty will lean on the higher side.

But after understanding the scenario, without even coming into contact with him, I am basically confident…… in regards to our fighting abilities, we can only escape; being reckless is certain death. So that’s why I think that to clear this scenario there should be some kind of escaping method.”

“Then isn’t the amount of danger we’re in the same as if we didn’t solve the mystery!?” shouted Wang Tanzhi.

“No, there’s a difference. At least in the second room, you got a Skill.” Feng Bujue said. “In the third room, we also learned of his weakness. So now whether we choose to kill him or to escape to clear this, our success rate has increased quite a bit.”

“Not discussing that 20% skill of mine, concerning his weakness, aren’t you talking about that phrase that was hidden by some bloodstain?”

“The system has set up an extremely simple inference here. Combined with the context from the notes, analyze this child’s string of actions…… Ignore the unimportant parts that are only there to confuse people, and these notes are just as clear as a monster report.” As Feng Bujue talked, they passed yet another corner. Ahead of them appeared a wide lobby with a raised ceiling and the lighting was still good. But as before the surrounding were all walls.

January 10, telekinesis; January 16, personality changes; January 19, an abnormal instinct awakens; January 25, thoughts can affect living creatures; January 30, already capable of dealing with large living animals, namely humans; February 1, an ungodly way of slaughtering.” Feng Bujue cooly and unfeelingly analyzed, “And a hint pertaining to his weakness lies within the paragraph written on January 26, as well as the situation we’ve seen currently until now.” He paused, “ He’s afraid of sunlight.”    

“But here is very…….”Wang Tanzhi had yet to say the word “light”, when Feng Bujue interrupted him.

“It’s sunlight, not artificial lighting.” Feng Bujue explained, “When entering that ward-like first room, I immediately felt that something was off. Ignoring that the surroundings were reeking of blood, both the ward and the corresponding corridor unexpectedly did not have any windows. It doesn’t match the most basic common sense in construction. At that time I still suspected that this building was underground. Afterward, I discovered the second and third room also didn’t have any windows. Why?” Feng Bujue paused. “ I can understand the strange sights in the rooms, after all, in this scenario…… It should be a hospital, right. It’s very obvious that space has been warped and after opening a door we could’ve seen anything. But after I finished looking at the notes, I realized that it was a clue.”

He pointed a finger at the light, “Actually these lights are another clue. He’s afraid of sunlight, but why are the lights necessary? There’s only two kinds of possibilities. First kind: he also needs lights to move, in the darkness he’s like us and can’t see anything; second kind: he’s afraid of sunlight and the darkness, because in the darkness there is something watching him……”

Suddenly, not too far ahead of them, the sound of a little girl’s laughter that the two had heard previously, issued out again.

Now, they’re already very clear that the source of that laughter was actually a young boy; however he’s also not a ghost, but just a child that likes to paint in blood. That’s all.

But even though their understanding changed and a mental defense established, Wang Tanzhi’s heart still accelerated, his breathing harshened, his hand gripped the fruit knife tighter, and his hands already began to sweat.  

Feng Bujue said, “Put up the knife, there’s absolutely no use for it.”

“J-J-Jue-Bro…… y-you…… you have……”

“Yeah, I have a plan.” Feng Bujue pointed at a direction in the lobby, “Use the Skill and go hit the middle of that wall.”

He’d yet to finish speaking when the young boy, who was this scenario’s BOSS, appeared without warning, just standing about three meters in front of them. He wore a hospital gown and even though he was under lighting, his body and face were both dimmed by a layer of shadow. The instant he appeared, the whole lobby from the walls to the ceiling and floor all simultaneously were just covered in a flash by countless, innumerable bloody faces and even the lighting became red.

This scene was enough to make a man shriek in terror, but Feng Bujue basically didn’t hesitate even for a second, three-steps become two-steps, and threw himself against the 1.2 meter tall child in front, “Quickly attack the wall!”

Wang Tanzhi jumped up at once, faced and ran at the direction Feng Bujue pointed out a moment ago. In fact, that initial jump of his was out of fright. He ran a few steps and just felt like his legs were somewhat limp. Halfway, he turned his head for a glimpse only to see Feng Bujue hadn’t even touched the boy’s body, but was bounced off by an incorporeal force; just like when you throw yourself and hit a moving car. A large spurt of blood immediately sprayed from his mouth.

Even though it seems very exaggerated, still, this is after all a game. Players are unlikely to really be injured and there is also no need to suffer pain that’s entirely the same as reality. In Thriller Paradise, no matter how heavy a blow the character received, even if they were crushed by a train, the limit of a player’s perception of pain feels more or less like being severely smashed on the finger by a carpenter’s hammer.

Seeing this scene, Wang Tanzhi spared no effort to run towards the wall. The child apparently also noticed what he was up to, but this time he didn’t teleport, rather, he chased after him at high-speed. That speed was definitely not something a child is capable of and the way he ran was also extremely horrifying. Just like a marionette pulled forward on strings.

Suddenly, a hand grabbed at the young boy’s ankle, our BOSS lowered his head to look and discovered it was actually Feng Bujue on the floor quickly crawling up, persistently chasing after to stall him. After all, Feng Bujue had an advantage in body type. That kind of 1.2 meter tall target, even if he ran faster, in such a short distance he can always chase and reach.

At the same time, Wang Tanzhi activated his Skill. His right fist, that was covered in an orange light, hit the center of the wall.

Even though the Skill’s activation success rate was only 20%, the objective of his strike was a wall, a hard to miss target. Not to mention his luck was obviously pretty good, so this strike was undoubtedly going to succeed.

The result on the wall really was as if an explosion had just occurred, creating a hole larger than one meter in diameter. An unusually intense ray of sunlight shone from the outside in.

In that instant, all the bloody faces in the lobby disappeared and that young boy also backed up, trying to keep as far away from the irradiating sunlight.

But he could not escape…… because Feng Bujue was still holding onto his foot……

“Just that one attack surprisingly knocked down 84% of my Life Value…… Now it’s my turn.” Feng Bujue stood up and, taking advantage of its momentary weakness, pulled it downward, allowing him to pin the BOSS to the ground. This time the young boy completely lost ability to resist.

Feng Bujue used his free hand to wipe the blood from the corner of his mouth, grabbed the young boy’s leg, and dragged him all the way towards the light, “This should ought to be a considerably strong BOSS, even if you directly faced him and used the Skill to hit him, I’m afraid that he would not necessarily die to only one strike.”    

At this moment Wang Tanzhi let loose a sigh, “If I was unable to smash the wall, or if on the other side there was another corridor, then what would we have done?”

“If on the other side of the wall it was night, you could just hide under the cover of darkness. If the other side was a corridor, you would just go in and continue to flee. In the situation where the wall doesn’t break, well…… you could just try to find another corridor and escape by yourself.” Feng Bujue walked as he talked, “I was still pretty confident, that’s why I let you use the Skill. This kind of hospital lobby, looking at it as a whole, we can speculate where the general location of the original entrance was. Look, on both sides of us there are corridors, behind me over there, even though it has been sealed by a wall, you can still make out that before it used to be set up as a registration window and such……” In the middle of his words, he lifted the BOSS, and exposed him to the strong light from the hole in the wall.

“Um…… Jue Bro…… isn’t this method of yours a bit cruel?” Wang Tanzhi watched the young boy cover both his eyes in pain, his body curling up.

“You’re right, I’m too excessive.” Feng Bujue answered, but his actions showed absolutely no intentions of stopping.

This is the only one of his mannerisms from childhood that he has brought with him into adulthood. His one consistent style. Humbly accept, yet unrepenting.

“Right now I can release him and let him go back and hide within the hospital, and we can just escape through this hole. The scenario ought to be cleared as well.” Feng Bujue said, “But like I said, according to my analysis, this is a very strong BOSS. Even if afterward we explore the scenario to a high degree of completion, when we face him, in a direct fight we’re very unlikely for us to win. By getting rid of him to clear the scenario, the experience obtained should be much higher than just escaping.

“Eh? When did you start caring about experience in games?” Wang Tanzhi asked in surprise.

Feng Bujue’s lips curled and again, he put the BOSS against the sunlight and let him absorb some sunlight for several moments, “Right now I have three reasons to properly play this game, Thriller Paradise.

“First, like the so-called wool comes from the sheep’s back[2], I want to pass this game and earn back what I invested into the gaming cabin. Secondly, these random scenarios aren’t half bad. Looking at the official explanation, it’s supported by the system’s enormous database. Each scenario is generated by combining a countless number of players’ memory fragments. Within later Multiplayer Training Modes, there’ll be equally complex narratives and set ups. So I can treat passing the whole game as a gathering source for material for my novels. Thirdly, I’m continuing the search for a way to return my fear……”

Feng Bujue talked to here, extended a hand, snapped his fingers, and then hooked his finger.

Wang Tanzhi naturally and intuitively understood and took out the fruit knife, passing it over without speaking a single word.,

“Then let’s take a look…… at the experience we’ll get after striking and killing the BOSS and clearing the scenario.” Feng Bujue then took the knife and stabbed……


Footnotes:

[1]We decided to leave it as K. “K”-ing somebody in game I believe is taken from PK-ing someone. It’s just a colloquial gaming term for killing someone.

[2]Idiom for nothing comes free.


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