Proofreading – Volly, Mai Shibari
His vision plunged into darkness and temporarily unable to open the game’s menu, Feng Bujue realised after staring into space for a short period that he was no longer in his original standing posture, but now sitting in what seemed to be some sort of hard-backed chair.
“Welcome to Terror Paradise.” The random voice that came out this time sounded very common and felt like the voice of an ordinary teenager. However, the tone of the sentence was as strange as before.
“Loading is complete, you are currently playing team survival mode(normal).”
“This mode provides an introduction to the level and divergent or hidden missions and special subplots have a chance to appear.”
“Rewards for clearing the level: An additional 80% of level clear base experience in the reward calculation”
“The level introduction will now play, after which the game will immediately start.”
The CG passed directly in front of Feng Bujue’s eyes; it felt like he was wearing a pair of sunglasses able to play movies. At the same time, the commentary echoed in his ears.
“This is a bustling modernized metropolis, just like all the major cities in the world today: high-rise buildings standing in great numbers, heavy traffic, densely packed population, stale air quality…”
Following the voice’s narration, images were shown in front of him as if they were fast forwarded. However, they were just very ordinary pictures of streets.
“Until one night when the sun sets, never to rise again. Behind the dark clouds, the elusive moonlight illuminates the lonely, dead silent city.”
The screen in front of Feng Bujue dimmed swiftly, until it turned pitch-black. A few seconds later, some of the lights returned once more, just the right amount of light for an eclipse. There were still some light sources in the city, but it wasn’t the right amount of brightness for a bustling city. Looking down from this perspective, he was able to see many stationary vehicles on the city’s streets. However, there was not a single pedestrian in sight, nor indeed any moving object…
“You open your eyes and find yourself currently sitting on the last subway train, which you board often. You will soon realize, the few strangers around you, including yourself… are the only survivors in this city.”
After that sentence reached his ears, Feng Bujue sensed only a bright light strike his eyes. With his senses and the ability to open the game menu restored, it seemed that the game had begun.
He was indeed sitting in a moving subway train. The scenery outside the window was passing by at high speed, blurring into horizontal lines. Raising his head, he was able to see Xiao Tan sitting nearby. Not surprisingly, there were also 3 other passengers in this carriage.
On the left-hand side of Feng Bujue and Wang Tanzhi, a short distance away, a man and a woman were sitting on the row of seats opposite. They were each under twenty and from their appearances they seemed to be students. The face of the male was very white and his hair was pretty long. Truth be told… this makeup made him look like he was no different from the female beside him. Their heights were very normal, their figures were slim and it could even be said that they were an attractive pair. From the names displayed, they were without a doubt in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. The man was called “I am at my loneliest when I think of you” while the female was called “I feel lonely when I recall you”.
In Team Survival modes, this initial scene can be considered a period where players can make their final adjustments before the game starts, and is a situation generated by the system to allow players to communicate with each other. In this environment, the player’s nickname is displayed above the head and players can see each other’s names. Once they leave this area, the name label will disappear and, if one wishes to check the name of one’s teammate, one would have to open the menu and find it under the team section.
There’s also a limit to the information that can be seen under the team section. First of all, there is obviously no way to see the face of the player’s teammate, only his/her name and level. Secondly, the status display next to it only shows whether someone is “still alive” or “dead”. As to how much HP the player has exactly or if the player has any abnormal status, that information is unknown.
There was a total of 5 people in this carriage and one person yet to be introduced. He was sitting on another row of chairs opposite Feng Bujue and Wang Tanzhi.
Even sitting down, this person’s height must have been above 1.9 just by looking, and his weight was definitely in the 100-kilogram class. From his appearance, this guy must have been younger than 30 years old; his appearance was stern, his jawline very masculine, his shoulders broad, his torso had a V-shape and one could vaguely see the shape of his arm muscles through his T-shirt.
With that sort of appearance, calling him “Arnold Schwarzenegger(Governor ever participating in competition)” would not be too far off the mark. Even though neural connection games allowed players to alter their appearance in the virtual world, this functionality had a limit on the extent of alterations one can make. Faces could easily be photoshopped, but the amount of alterations on a body could not be more than 8%: any more than that and problems would emerge. For example, if you allow a 2 meter tall man to use a 1.5 meter tall body, he will definitely not be able to adapt to it.
Therefore, assuming that a player’s height is 180cm, the maximum height he can adjust to is approximately 194.4cm, and the lowest height 165.6cm; For someone with a body mass of 60kg, he/she can increase or decrease their weight by 4.8kg or so. While the alteration of body proportions is a very vague concept, a good example would be… A beer belly can be corrected into a relatively flat belly, but it will never become a six-pack.
Thus, leaving the matter of looks aside, the brawny man in front of him was in reality… most probably still a brawny man, not excluding the possibility that the man had simply never altered his appearance.
After the their gazes met with the brawny man’s, he took the lead and opened his mouth. “Let me introduce myself…” He patted his chest. “Long Aomin, just reached rank 10.”
“I noticed… Nice to meet you.” Feng Bujue replied.
Wang Tanzhi was a bit curious and asked. “Hey man, is the part in front of your nickname a part of your name too? So it’s possible for one to actually set such a long name?”
“Ah. this? This is just a title, everyone will get one once they reach rank 10, it’s something the system decides.” Long Aomin replied. Above his head was shown “The fierce and brave attacker, Long Aomin”.
Naturally, Feng Bujue had known about this feature, why was why he answered “I noticed.”
“That looks very strong…” Wang Tanzhi’s eyes glinted as he said that.
Feng Bujue interrupted his words. “What do you mean by looks pretty strong? Do you even know how to express yourself?” He continued solemnly. “This IS very strong.”
“Hahaha, it’s nothing. I’ve played a bit more, that’s all.” Long Aomin replied, laughing. It’s obvious that Feng Bujue’s words had made him felt very welcome.
“Brother Long is just too modest. My humble self can tell from just a look that you are not some ordinary player.” Feng Bujue had called him “Brother Long” directly. In his heart, he had true admiration for someone who dared to call himself “Long Aomin”. The sensations when he looked at that name were like an air of hegemony slapping his unworthy face
Feng Bujue then turned his head over to the boy and girl and said: ”Nice to meet you two students.”
“Ah, nice to meet you too.” The two of them replied casually. It seemed like they were not fond of talking with the three of them at this end.
The following few minutes consisted of Feng Bujue chatting with Long Aomin over their experiences of the game. Wang Tanzhi was next to them, interjecting here and there. As this was still the first day of the internal testing stage and everyone was still a novice, there was still a lot of information that was worth exchanging.
From his behaviour, he should not have called himself Long Aomin, but Guo Dalu instead.(TL: A character from Joyous Hero authored by Gu Long.) He was someone very generous, treating people sincerely, and also very forthright. His sincerity was something that one could hear, see, and feel. The comments he came out with were very pertinent and he did not put on a condescending attitude just because Feng Bujue and Wang Tanzhi were lower in level than him.
On the other side, the couple were already getting affectionate, cuddling each other and whispering things to each other with a mushy-gushy look. Someone might ask, isn’t intimacy prohibited in this game? However, please note that the previous text only refers to stopping sexual harassment; the situation unfolding between the two lovers was consensual. Needless to say, they were also not doing anything too outrageous; at the most they would just kiss and hug each other and this could not even be considered second base. In a harmonious society, the game will definitely prohibit any behaviour beyond that.
Not too long after that, the train began to slow down until it completely stopped.
Outside, the lights of the train station were still lit normally. However, other than the sound of the train, nothing could be heard, even the station arrival announcement was absent.
The door opened and, almost at the same time, the lights in the carriage all went out.
The ”lonely“ girl was shocked and faintly gave out a cry. The “loneliest” guy beside her was also startled. However, he was not shocked to the extent that his voice leaked out, although his body shivered a little.
And this loud and almost-tearful scream belonged to Xiao Tan.
Waiting for him to finish screaming, Feng Bujue sighed. “If it were not for the system intervening, I would really love to stick this piece of wrench into your throat.” He shook his head while walking out of the train.
Even though the lights in the carriage went all out, it was not a situation where one couldn’t see their own five outstretched fingers because of the functioning platform lights. The Wang Tanzhi’s earlier scream had been truly shameful. The “loneliest” and “lonely” pair were now casting a scornful look from their hearts while Long Aomin was trying his best to hold back his laughter, following Feng Bujue out of the carriage with a cold smile.
After dozens of seconds, the five of them had reached the platform. Feng Bujue looked around for a bit, then spoke: “I am going to have a look at the front of the train, maybe there’s a driver there.”
“I believe it’s better if you don’t act alone, maybe we can come along with you?” Long Aomin replied.
“Geez, why do you need to find a driver? That’s so troublesome and all it will do is waste everyone’s time. Isn’t there a level 10 guy here? Let’s just follow him and if we see anyone on our way to the surface, we will just finish them off. After all, killing everything that moves is also a way to clear a stage.” said the “loneliest” guy.
From the team status menu, Feng Bujue was able to see that the levels of “Loneliest” and “Lonely” were seven and six respectively. In any case, their levels were higher than both his and Xiao Tan’s and he felt that that gave their words more weight.
“That’s fine then.” Just like that, Feng Bujue actually agreed. He then turned his head to Long Aomin and said: “What do you think of that, Brother Long?”
“That’s not a problem. You can all just follow behind me, if we happen to meet a situation that requires combat and I am in a pinch, you can all just lend me a hand.” Long Aomin readily replied, and after speaking began to stride forward onto the escalator. “Follow me.” When he stood on the steps of the escalator, he had already taken out a shield from his inventory and equipped it on his right wrist.
“Brother Jue? What’s wrong?” Wang Tanzhi lowered his voice and asked Feng Bujue. He understood Feng Bujue very well, so how could it be possible that Feng Bujue had changed his mind because of what some other guy said? Besides, not only did the suggestion that the “Loneliest” guy” had given sound unwise, even whether it was right or wrong was a question by itself.
“It’s nothing. From the beginning, I believed that the probability that this train had a driver was not high and was just curious and wanted to confirm it.” Feng Bujue lowered his voice and continued. “Since someone objected… Making a compromise of this little matter won’t hurt anyway.”
While they were talking, they had followed Long Aomin and reached the level at the top of the elevator. However, the five of them were still in the subway station and needed to go up another level in order to return to the surface.
After coming up from the elevator, there was a piece of sign in front of them, pointing the directions of the various exits and the landmarks accessible by land. However, those were all unimportant to them, as what they needed was only to find the exit that was closest to them. They wanted to reach the surface first and assess the situation before deciding on what to do next.
At that time, the voice of the system prompt began to ring in everyone’s ear. “The main quest tasks have been activated.”