Proofreading: Volly, tyr116, fntsyrdr
When the darkness had descended earlier, the ‘lonely’ girl at the end started screaming. Although the ‘loneliest’ guy was also afraid, he couldn’t possibly scream with her, as she was still clinging onto his arm. He could only put on a facade of composure and say to the girl, “Don’t be afraid, I’m here.” In reality, however, one could see that the rank 7 ‘loneliest’ guy was actually unable to even save his own skin, since he didn’t have a weapon that was effective at fighting against the monsters.
He and ‘lonely’ had played multiplayer practice mode ever since they were rank 1. After reaching rank 5, the two of them had participated in a round of team survival mode, which had resulted in their deaths. However, because the contributions that ‘loneliest’ made were slightly more than ‘lonely’’s, he’d received a little more experience when the other players cleared the level. When they went for another round of Team Survival after that, they were both killed before they were able to clear the level. Thus, the two of them were currently at rank 7 and rank 6 respectively, with no equipment on hand, and no skills to use. They’d basically have to rely on their hands to fight a monster.
Reading up to this point, I’m sure most of you’ve already understood: It was a special arrangement, made by the system, that caused Long Aomin to be assigned to this team. There were probably hundreds of people queuing at the same time, so why were the five of them deliberately grouped this way? That’s because the system had classified ‘lonely’ and ‘loneliest’ as weak players, based on their previous performances.
To give them a hand, the system added Long Aomin, a rank 10 and a pretty strong player, into the group. At the same time, in order to maintain the overall difficulty, it also found two players that were considerably lower in rank, yet still decent at clearing levels, to lower the average rank of the team.
Thus, with this five-man combination, their ranks summed up to 33, and their average rank was 6.6…which just so happened to fall into the rank 6-7 difficulty that their level was set at.
To put it even more plainly, this was a chance that the system had created for ‘lonely’ and ‘loneliest’ to ride on the coattails of other players, in the hopes that they’d be able to clear the level and for fear that psychological trauma might manifest if they died too many times…
“What was that earlier?” Long Aomin asked, the question something that he’d blurted out. He didn’t honestly expect an answer. It was simply because he was panicking from the frightening situation, and wanted to know how the others felt.
He never expected Feng Bujue to answer him seriously, and in a cool tone. “There are three possibilities. I’ll explain them to you later.”
This time, Wang Tanzhi didn’t yell. However, his face was pale and his voice was trembling as he said: “D-D-Did they..seriously have to do this? It’s fine… that they shut down the lights… in the tra-trains… but how could they actually shut down the lights… when the sky’s already pitch black! Are they trying to kill someone?”
“If you want a good fright, there’s something creepy over there.” With a blank expression, Feng Bujue pointed behind Wang Tanzhi.
Little Tan turned around rigidly, while, at the same time, Long Aomin, ‘lonely’, and ‘loneliest’ managed to see, in the distance, the object that Feng Bujue was pointing at.
At the end, an infant could be seen climbing up onto the roof of a bus and giving a fierce howl. Its appearance had already mutated; its skin had turned black, both of its eyes were emitting a green light, and its teeth had became long, narrow fangs. Even though the size of its body hadn’t changed, the sickles in its hands and its pair of beastial legs had grown to nearly double their original size. In its current state, when this monster stood fully upright, its height would be close to 1.6 meters. Moreover, its dual sickle blade’s reach was clearly larger than a human’s arm span.
Wang Tanzhi gulped and lowered his head to look at the fruit knife that he was currently holding in his hand. He looked at the creature’s “arm knives” again…and felt a sense of inferiority well up inside him.
“Looks like it transformed after eating a rare candy*…” Holding a pipe, Feng Bujue stepped down from the car.
*(TL Note: Rare candies are an item from Pokémon that allow Pokémon to gain a level when consumed.)
“I’ll lure it down from the front. You all wait for an opportunity to attack it from the rear.” As he spoke, Long Aomin was already heading towards the front. He wasn’t able to joke around like Feng Bujue at such a time.
Unfortunately, Long Aomin was unable to carry out his strategy successfully. It was possible that the strange infant was able to listen to players’ conversation, or that its intelligence was simply set higher than what they’d expected. The strange infant simply ignored Long Aomin, bent its legs, and thrust itself upwards, leaving two caved-in footprints. It leapt high above, drawing a parabola in the sky. It actually flew past the heads of 3 of them, and swooped more than ten meters past, aiming for ‘lonely’ and ‘loneliest’, who were below the street lights.
At that moment, Long Aomin really wanted to activate the skill he’d used earlier and rush over to help them, but his hands were tied. The “Lightning Collision” skill that’d helped Feng Bujue out of his predicament earlier was an ability granted to him by his title “The fierce and Brave Attacker”. When activated, it consumed 30% of his maximum stamina, and its cooldown was a full hour.
For the time being, let’s leave the various possibilities of the “Title System” aside. To summarize the current situation, the only people that had the ability to save ‘lonely’ and ‘loneliest’ were themselves.
Seeing the strange infant falling on the two from the sky, its sickles turned sideways and poised for killing, the three who were in the middle of the street sprinted towards that area together. However, the infant was just like a rock that had been shot out from a trebuchet—as far as its exaggerated jump was concerned, the type of movement that it performed in mid-air was impossible for players to catch up to by foot.
“Run towards us and keep your heads down!” Feng Bujue shouted.
This was undoubtedly done to force ‘lonely’ and ‘loneliest’ into reacting. It was also the most appropriate action to make. If those two tried to retreat or dodge in separate directions, at least one of them would be killed immediately after the infant landed. And foolishly remaining in the same spot or blindly attempting to block and counterattack would probably get them killed even quicker.
The only chance they had at survival was to rush towards Feng Bujue and the rest of the trio as fast as they could during the few seconds it took the monster to adjust its body and change its trajectory after leaping into the sky.
In such moments where one’s life was hanging by a thread, an order that’s full of confidence is very effective. A helpless and frightened person will normally think less before acting. Sure enough, after hearing that, ‘loneliest’ grabbed ‘lonely’, lowered his head, and rushed in their direction.
As the strange infant was descending from the sky, the two of them managed to slip past its feet, and flee to its back. It turned and gave chase after its hooves touched the ground, its sickle cutting through the air and seemingly fuming with rage. It only took two seconds to draw close to the fleeing pair.
However, that strange infant was very unlucky, as a brawny man who was running in the opposite direction of the pair had already arrived at that moment. With a twist of his body, he was in front of the strange infant. A grey metal buckler that was akin to a steel wall was preventing the strange infant from advancing.
It quickly brandished its strengthened sickle arms and tried to cut it. A continuous screeching sound rang out, but once again that attack did not leave even a scratch on it and could only set off some sparks on the surface of the shield. In addition to that, that strange infant had started slowing down its attacks, making them weaker.
Name: Ultron’s shattered fragment
Special effects: None
Equipment Requirement: Hand to hand combat specialization E, Rank 8
Note: This is the wreckage left behind by a certain generation of Ultron after it got destroyed. It was originally the size of a thumb, but after adding secondary adamantium and recasting it, it has become this piece of a shield. It seems to be a bit stronger compared to the mass produced shield of the same variant, but repeated tests reveal that there are no significant differences in the data to support this theory.
The attributes of that shield were very stronger than those of Feng Bujue’s wrench, so the effect that it could have in early game was naturally greater. The strange infant’s attacks had slowed because it realized that continuing to attack for much longer would likely wear down its sickle.
The strange infant had given up on breaking through Long Aomin’s defenses. It wanted to make use of its speed to circle around this hard-nut-to-crack and deal with the rest, but too much time had already been wasted. A man, who was wearing a black helmet and carrying a fruit knife, was quietly circling around to its back…
Because the weapon was weak and he was rather timid, Wang Tanzhi did not dare to act rashly. He circled around a car and slipped to the rear of the strange infant. Only then did he raise his weapon and stab it into the strange infant’s neck vertebrae, unaware that choosing a spot that would “leave someone paralyzed, even if it doesn’t outright kill them” to attack might be something all medical practitioner would do.
A strange shout rang and black pus and blood sprayed out, splattering Wang Tanzhi’s face. Yet, the strange infant was still alive and even wanted to break free.
At that moment, a pipe wrench came from the side and brutally went through the left eye socket of the infant…