Kick off the start of May with a Terror Paradise Chapter! Also, I am still looking for a proofreader, interested applicants please put it down in the comment section below and I will contact you asap! Without further ado, let’s begin!
Chapter 18 – The eerie cinephile’s city arc(Part 2)
After the prompt from the system voice, Feng Bujue checked the system menu once again and realized that the task column had been unlocked. This was still his first time officially receiving a main quest. The training and single player mode earlier had basically been held in enclosed buildings; the layout of the levels had been very compact and there hadn’t been a multitude of options for plot advancement, thus the system had not generated any unnecessary quests. However, the current team survival mode had a large map that allowed for a high degree of freedom, so the system needed to give a general outline to provide guidance towards the ending of the stage, otherwise players would most likely not know what to do in general.
After expanding the quest bar, Feng Bujue saw a new window covering the front of the menu. Inside, it displayed the content of the quest. The text description of this main task was very simple. “Search the city and find the demon gate.”
“This feels like a magic fantasy setting.” Feng Bujue closed the game menu, after glancing at the quest for a brief moment.
“In such a large city, wouldn’t finding a door be just like looking for a needle in a haystack?” Wang Tanzhi said.
“The key word that the quest used to give us a hint was not ‘gate’, but ‘demon’,” said Feng Bujue. He had already walked to the front of the ticket vending machine that he had been beside earlier. While looking at the schematic of the subway lines printed on the machine, he said: “There are a total of 12 train lines in the city. They are represented by different colours, but…” His finger traced the train lines intertwined with each other on the picture and eventually stopped at a point. “In the interlacing of these 10 train lines, there is a certain area…” Stretching both of his hands open and pressing them on the map, he covered the map around the area, leaving only the middle exposed. “The five straight lines that intersected form a very standard figure, a pentagram.”
“Bro, that’s a little too far-fetched.” The loneliest guy said. “You should examine it again closely, there’s a possibility you’ll be able to find a whole bunch of different figures in that mess of lines.”
“The second my finger stopped, my close examination was over,” Feng Bujue replied. He turned his back and started to explain. “Before we came to this level, only the station name and the journey map of the subway line earlier were shown, whether on the inside of the train or on the subway platform. A complete schematic of the subway line like this is not present on the lower level.
“Before the system prompt sounded, we did not encounter a monster, did not waste too much time idling and also never performed any substantial action. However, there must be something that triggers the quest. If this quest did not have any conditions to trigger it, we should have already received it while sitting in the train. There’s no reason why the system would have us come up a level before giving us the prompt.
“Therefore…the only possibility I can think of is, this level has something that is not present on the bottom level and the information it provides will point us towards the demon gate that the quest speaks of.”
At this point, he bent his body and patted the map of the subway lines printed on the vending ticket machine with the palm of his left hand. “There are only 12 train lines, but there are thousands of roads on the surface. If this line map is useless, then the map of the city would be even more useless, unless we are able to find a tourist map with the landmark “Demon gate” marked on it. “
Feng Bujue took a deep breath. “In other words, if nobody has an opinion that contradicts this current deduction, or feels that this deduction does not have any tenable foundation… I would like you all to come with me to this spot on the map. If that turns out to be wrong, we will reorganize our thoughts and discuss the matter again. If it turns out to be right, I will get technique points, everyone will clear the quest and all will be happy.”
Feng Bujue said everything in one breath, dumbfounding everyone. This time however, Wang Tanzhi looked pretty calm, as he had seen a lot of situations like this ever since he was a child.
Feng Bujue’s deductive ability was the fruit of a reading addiction. He was a very intelligent man, the marks in the Binet test he had taken in school at the age of 16 was 138, with 69 marks to each side, which was just right for balanced left/right brain thinking. Compared to extraordinary geniuses with 140 marks and above, he was still grouped together with ordinary people, but his observation, memory, understanding and deductive ability had been honed to a point where it could be described as incomparable with an average person.
Just as Arthur Conan Doyle, borrowing the mouth of Sherlock Holmes, said, other than having depth of knowledge and experience, the most important thing that makes a good detective is having the correct deductive skills. The Sherlock Holmes of the stories had always done his utmost best to trumpet his style of “deduction” and Feng Bujue was apparently one of his loyal fans.
His reading addiction came from another set of Holmes’s theories: Treating knowledge as storable objects and treating the brain as a library and managing it. Unimportant things would be swept away and forgotten, things of minor importance would be placed inside the attic and important things would remain at one’s fingertips.
This might look like an idealized form of memory management and thought. As a matter of fact, through a series of training, it was indeed possible. Feng Bujue was an example of an autodidact.
There are many things in this world that are easier said than done, such as naturally becoming muscular by doing dozens of push-ups every day, memorizing a few words and easily passing the Bands 4 and 6 of the college English test, becoming a literary genius by writing a thousand-word manuscript every day and so on… If there were a list detailing the thoughts humans use to deceive themselves, these few notions would be at the top of the list.
When an average person is faced with this type of self-regulatory training, the possibility of their giving up halfway is high, but as the saying goes, “Freaks have always had extraordinary talent since time immemorial.”, Feng Bujue was one of the few people who persisted and eventually turned reading and reasoning into a habit and a hobby…
“Uhhh…In short, what Feng bro meant is, it’s better if we perform a search through this line of thought, than to run around in circles in the city.” The later half of Long Aomin’s sentence was directed at the “Loneliest” guy.
“Hu…Huh? Oh…let’s…let’s do that then.” The loneliest guy had just came back to his senses. To be honest, he had not completely caught up to Feng Bujue’s speech and thoughts, but the feeling of “Even though I do not quite understand, this guy sounds like he’s pretty intelligent” had emerged.
The five of them then begun to move. Long Aomin was at the front, followed by Feng Bujue telling him the correct exit to take to lead them back to the surface. In addition, he was also responsible for specifying the general direction after heading back up to the surface.
While passing through a wide passageway, Feng Bujue unexpectedly found something that seemed like an easter egg. It was actually an advertisement for Terror Paradise, mixed with the billboards on the passageway wall that appeared one after the other,
After walking through the passageway and turning right, everyone was able to see the exit above the slope. Though it had stopped operating, there was an upward escalator on the slope and also two sets of stairs on both sides, allowing people to climb.
They ascended the stairs, reaching the city’s surface. The moonlight was dim and the lights in the city were sparse. There were a lot of cars parked on the street, but all their engines were turned off. The lights of the billboards on the roadside buildings, the business premises and the residential areas had all been turned off, with the exception of the street lamps, which were functioning normally.
Although there was no moving vehicle, the air which was inhaled felt very smoky, almost as if there was a layer of thick fog swirling in front of him, making it impossible to see far away objects clearly.
During the time in the subway station, there had been a roof above their heads and their surroundings had been covered with walls. In addition to that, they had been in an underground environment and no-one noticed anything unusual. However, after reaching open ground, the strange atmosphere all around was indescribable… That kind of abnormal silence could even make a person suffocate.
Four out of the five people had started to have fluctuations in their terror value, which stabilized in the range of 5-15%. They were also slowly manifesting the various body languages that were associated with fear.
“Head down this road. After four blocks, turn left, head straight ahead and that should be the place.” Feng Bujue’s tone, on the contrary, sounded very normal, as if he was in no way affected by it. He had quickly recognized a few of the landmarks on the road already and had came up with a good route to take.
Holding his shield, Long Aomin nodded his head and continued to lead the way, with the other four people walking behind him. They did not speak, were alert, obeying every instruction given and tried their best to walk on the pavement that was close to a street lamp.
A breathing sound, suspected to come from a beast, a rustling soft voice and faintly discernable laughter could be heard from time to time in the darkness . In any case, no matter the kind, one could hear it, but not make it out.
Every few tens of meters, Long Aomin would look back a little. The more he looked however, the more he felt something was amiss. “Say, Feng bro…You must have a high-risk occupation in real-life, no?” Long Aomin asked. On his road to rank 10, he had never met a player like Feng Bujue. Fear is something that’s very hard to hide, but Feng Bujue’s eyes did not exude even a tiniest sense of fear. This meant that Feng Bujue wasn’t pretending to be bold, but really was just fearless…
Combining that with the incisive deduction earlier, Long Aomin even had a little suspicion that Feng Bujue’s job had something to do with SWATs or the like.
“An artist.” Feng Bujue replied in a lukewarm manner, almost as if what he was saying was true.
Wang Tanzhi was too tired to even interrupt. From what he knew, there were two types of occupations that Feng Bujue claimed to others: An artist or a great writer. No matter what viewpoint one took to examine his behaviour, the two answers deserved a spanking…
Long Aomin had completely not expected to hear this answer and was at a loss for words for a moment. The loneliest guy at the back began to speak again: “What sort of person “calls himself” an artist?”
“Well, I can put it another way,” Feng Bujue continued, “I am someone working in art who possess high aesthetic ability, is adept at creating things and has had considerable success working in the industry of artistic creation.“
“You’re just explaining the three words again!”
“Compared to saying the three words directly, it sounded a bit more modest, no?”
“It sounds even more exaggerated than before!”
The lonely girl had begun to laugh on the side. The loneliest guy curled up his lips and said to her: “No way would I have contested him if he wasn’t being dumb..”
At this time, Feng Bujue suddenly stopped and quickly took “Mario’s pipe wrench” out from his inventory. “Hmm… Just after the heavy atmosphere has been eased, something troublesome is coming.”
Long Aomin had somehow seen two shadows flash by in the darkness at the same time as Feng Bujue, but he had only seen a brief outline and had no idea what sort they were. Whatever the case, it was most probably some type of monster.
“Looks like a deformed baby, there’s a sickle on the end of each of it’s arms and it’s pretty quick… As for numbers…..there should be more than one.” Feng Bujue spoke calmly and suddenly approached the darkness with the pipe wrench in his hand. At that time, he was unaware that he had unlocked the deduction specialization after speaking those words.