Chapter 28: Eerie Cinephile City (XII)
“Hm… according to our experiences so far, right when we ‘discover’ something, some monster, or some situation, it’ll trigger…” Feng Bujue hadn’t even finished talking when…
The “corpse” in front suddenly stood up. At the same time, an eerie peal of laughter pierced their ears.
It slowly lifted its head, still lit by the flashlight, bit by bit revealing a face that was overcast, wretched, shadow-like, with barely recognizable facial features, and skin the color of lead.
“You mean he’s not dead?” whispered Long Aomin.
“Not dead?” Feng Bujue stepped around Long Aomin and walked toward the suspiciously-not-a-reanimated-corpse bástãrd. “That’s a good explanation. Earlier that **laugh was probably this survivor’s expression of joy after being found.” He had been wearing his goggles until now, so he was quite clear that the corpse’s aggro was on himself.
Seeing Feng Bujue’s quick approach, the monster immediately initiated a second pattern of attack.
“Ah——!” Lonesome suddenly screamed from behind.
Not only Lonesome, even Lonely was shocked and let out a shriek. Nothing came from Wang Tanzhi: his pathetic shriek caught in his throat, he was frightened pale, and his heart even stopped for a few seconds. Only Long Aomin was fairly composed, but even so, his hair stood on end as he inhaled sharply.
A myriad of festering arms, dark, wretched and sinister extended from the surrounding walls. In an instant, the sound of wailing and groaning saturated the sewer.
Lonesome reeled back in panic. She closed her eyes and began wildly swinging the golf club in her hands. Lonely stepped forward to stop her but was nearly hit several times.
Wang Tanzhi was almost scared sh*tless. His eyes almost popped out of his skull; he didn’t dare move. His knife hand was shaking, both palms drenched in cold sweat.
Several seconds later, Long Aomin shouted, “They’re illusions! Don’t touch anything!” He hadn’t lost his ability to think and immediately realized those hands were illusions. He realized this when he saw some of the arms extending from the ground pass through his leg, but it didn’t feel any different.
“Even if they were real ghost hands, they can’t touch us!” Long Aomin shouted again.
After hearing what Long Aomin said, Lonesome started to calm down a little and lowered her golf club. Then Lonely grabbed her and whispered a few words of comfort. Although he was a bit shaken as well, once he saw how panicked his girlfriend was, he calmed down slightly. It was just a game. This terrifying scene was only temporary: simply fake.
While all that was going on, Feng Bujue had already strolled over ten meters to the front of the monster. Those terrifying images and sounds didn’t impact him in the slightest; he didn’t even blink. He gripped his baseball bat in his hands and rolled his neck twice before winding up to swing.
This monster, seeing that its opponent did not fall for his trick, initiated a third pattern of attack.
In an instant, the shabbily-clothed corpse transformed into a real-life beautiful woman… It appeared to be around twenty, with fine shoulder-length, flowing, black hair. It wore a black garter skirt and had two slim jade-like legs peeking through the side of the skirt. Two half-revealed, soft, shimmering mounds sat on its chest, skin as beautiful as snow. Its eyebrows were even more endlessly filled with flirtatious charm.
Feng Bujue was distracted for a second, then he suddenly retrieved the baseball bat to his inventory.
Seeing this, the men behind him all shot him look of disdain even though they all understood on the inside…
“Almost forgot…” Just as Feng Bujue retrieved the baseball bat, he pulled out the pipe wrench. “Since it’s a humanoid-type, not only can I raise my skill points, but I can also use the weapon’s special effect,” he said light-heartedly. Then he just swung the pipe wrench at the monster’s head and began bashing it in.
Bam Bam Bam…
Each time the pipe wrench smashed against its head, black blood would spurt out; it was such a ghastly sight. The instant Feng Bujue began hitting the body, the monster reverted back to its original lead-colored look. The surrounding illusions also faded as the monster suffered heavy damage.
The other four behind him stood in a circle, watching Feng Bujue efficiently, boldly, brutally bash. Among them, three of them were unable to calm their Terror Values, because their imaginations were running wild. The main issue they were wondering about was whether “Feng Bujue,” these three characters, had any deeper meaning…
After Feng Bujue thoroughly beat the monster’s head to mush, he rummaged through its jacket pockets and found a key; the Key Wood had the same item description as the Key of Fire.
【Current Mission has been completed; Main Mission has been updated】
After picking up the key, the mission received a check on its right side, and a new mission popped out:【Return to the Demon Gate; restore the seal】
“Got it. Let’s go.” Feng Bujue turned as he spoke.
“Um… Feng Big Bro(respectfully)…” Long Aomin spoke, “How did you know this monster would be so… be so weak?”
“As soon as it stood up, I knew,” answered Feng Bujue. “And as soon as those arms appeared, I was even more certain. This type of monster is clearly used for testing a player’s Terror Value. If no one in a group was daring enough to approach because they were afraid, the illusions would certainly grow increasingly frightening. Even if no one was scared to the point of disconnecting, then the illusion would at least force a group to have a lousy completion time.” He paused for a moment, “When it changed into a beautiful woman, it was basically a sign that it reached its limits to frighten, and it could only try to stall for time by transforming into something that would at least be attractive to me.” He suddenly stroked his chin and mused “Wait a minute… how did the System know my sexual orientation; if I were homosexual or bisexual, what would it have transformed into…?”
Lonely Lil Bro spoke up at this time, “If you use your ID to login to the forums, there ought to have been a question like that in your user profile, right?
“Because the Gaming Company has my data, the System would automatically ‘know’….” muttered Feng Bujue to himself. “Well then, we should still hurry and rush back before discussing more.”
Enroute back, the five of them sped up as much as possible. They were all faintly aware that this Scenario wouldn’t just end like this. Even if the Final BOSS, the one called Samodeer, didn’t appear or couldn’t appear, a powerful demon that would act as a hidden BOSS should emerge.
Right now it was impossible to rush to the Gate before the next darkness, but at least they could guarantee the hidden BOSS wouldn’t power up again because of the subsequent darkness.
Sure enough, just when the five of them were halfway back to the plaza, the darkness descended. This was the fourth time since they’d entered the Scenario; including the ten or so minutes before the first darkness, the time they’d spent in the Scenario was already over two hours.
This time the darkness descended, unexpectedly, they didn’t hear any sounds at all: no breathing, no mutterings, not the slightest chuckle. Feng Bujue felt that this had to be a good sign. In this sort of terrifying game, every abnormal and unpredictable event that broke sequence indicated one was moving toward a terrible turn of events.
This time, three minutes after the darkness, they arrived back at the plaza; this time even Long Aomin was panting a little. All the rushing around, fighting, long periods of traveling, moving stuff, etc… over the last two hours consumed much of everyone’s Stamina.
Lonely and Lonesome each consumed over four hundred Stamina; the only difference between them was one was Level 6 and the other Level 7. Counting Stamina they recovered from their intermittent rests, both of them still had over two hundred left to use at the moment. Long Aomin’s consumption was the greatest. The【Lightning Charge】he used during the encounter with the monster baby burned three hundred of his Stamina. Now, add on the time with the fight against the Blood Corpse, where he basically carried the whole time, he consumed a total of over seven hundred Stamina. Actually though, this was also considered less due to the effect of Hidden Attribute. The amount of Stamina he used while running was much less than others; fighting was the same. The disparity gradually accûmulated, and with the recovered Stamina he still had 289/1000 remaining.
In contrast to the other three, these two level five punks, Feng Bujue and Wang Tanzhi unexpectedly still had a miraculous ninety points left after participating in fights.
“The mission has already updated; we should be able to use the keys now.” Wang Tanzhi huffed while gulping lungfuls of air.
Feng Bujue walked to the front of the group and took out the two keys while facing the Gate. He held the keys in an open hand and approached the gate with an outstretched arm. Nothing occurred, though, even after tens of seconds.
“Something’s fishy…” Long Aomin said upon seeing the situation, “Why is there still no reaction?”
“No… I think it’s already happened.” Feng Bujue gazed in the distance, “Look.”
The plaza was very open, and they could see several hundred meters in all directions. Everyone followed Feng Bujue’s eyes, at this moment, hundreds of monsters leaked from every street. They all appeared varied and monstrous but could fundamentally be broken down into two types: the ferocious savage and the sinister hunter.
These monsters walked very slowly; undoubtedly, their presence was carefully constructed to cause despair in onlookers. And when one stopped feeling despair, overwhelming fear would wash over, gripping one in pure unadulterated terror.
“How could this happen? Where did we do wrong?” Lonely Lil Bro flustered as his voice rose in pitch unconsciously, “Is this situation hopeless?”
Feng Bujue also felt the current turn of events was unexpected, he said, “Samodeer can’t approach the Keys nor the seal on the Gate, so he can’t personally come to kill us. The demons are unwilling to approach as well. They’re not afraid of the Keys, but they must be afraid of this Gate, or maybe… they’re afraid to return to the area in front of the Gate. That’s why no more than half of the monsters are pacing in the plaza, rather than coming closer.” He wanted to use these words to first mitigate the terror of the situation, “Right now, they have no choice but to approach. We should stand closer to the Gate first to assess the situation.”
“What will we do if they’re not afraid of the Demon Gate at all?” said Long Aomin.
“Then we retreat into the Gate.” replied Feng Bujue.
“Jue Bro… that’s the ‘Demon Territory’! What’ll we do if there are even more monsters on the other side?” exclaimed Wang Tanzhi.
“That might not be the case; I have a hunch the other side is like a prison. Right now all of the prisoners have escaped and it’s likely to be empty inside. Besides… dying there isn’t really dying.” answered Feng Bujue, “In any case, we’d just return to the Login Space, that’s all.”
The five of them quickly retreated towards the Gate and stood with their backs turned to it. Feng Bujue was still mulling over everything that had happened in the Scenario, from beginning to end… He was most concerned about what the tree monster had said about “the cycle”. When it came right down to it, how did this city that was removed from reality experience this cycle? Maybe once this riddle is solved, they’ll be able to learn some of Samodeer’s behavioral patterns or weakness. Maybe they’ll discover a method to restore the seal…
Many pieces of information wove together in his head, but Feng Bujue didn’t have much time left to analyze. He repeated over and over in his mind, “A puddle isolated from the time stream… a darkness that appears every thirty minutes… the disappearance of whispers within the darkness…”