Proofreading: tyr116, fntsyrdr, Volly
This battle hadn’t reached the level of “desperate”, as all five players hadn’t lost any health points, but afterwards the strength of every player in the team could be seen.
To put it simply, there were three players that were capable of clearing the level, and two players that were virtually useless deadweights…
Wang Tanzhi’s face and clothes had been splattered with a considerable amount of filthy blood that had come from from the strange infant’s body. Fortunately, the monster’s body fluids hadn’t come with any toxins or special effects, and had merely turned the odour on its body to one that wasn’t pleasant to one’s nose. As Long Aomin was blocking with his shield, his outfit stayed relatively clean, while Feng Bujue’s “contamination” was, without question, quite severe. However, he quickly resolved that problem.
Feng Bujue seemed to have thought of an idea beforehand. After finishing off the strengthened strange infant’s variant, he turned his body and walked straight to a car. Opening the car doors, he ripped off a chair cover, then went near a fire hydrant on the roadside. Using a pipe wrench to loosen the valve, water began to flow out from the inside. Treating the seat cover as a cloth, he then made use of the flowing water to wipe his face and his clothes and speedily cleaned up the mess on his body, while washing off the strange odour at the same time.
Wang Tanzhi followed suit and also grabbed some sort of cloth from the car. After that, he squatted beside Feng Bujue and began to clean up the filthy liquid on his body.
Long Aomin went to examine each and every one of the strange infants’ corpses. Only after confirming that those monstrosities were completely dead could he let out a sigh of relief. He sat on a road curb to allow his stamina gauge to slowly recover.
“Loneliness” and “Lonely” walked over and returned inside the illuminated vicinity where the street light was. ”Thanks, if it weren’t for you guys, we would have most likely met our ends there.” Loneliness said, his tone becoming a lot more modest. At the beginning, he even felt that he was more entitled to speak on matters as his rank was, at the very least, higher than the two rank 5 players. But he would now no longer question Feng Bujue’s suggestions.
“Before reaching the demon’s gate coordinates that I surmised earlier….” Feng Bujue had long since cleaned up his face. While wiping his clothes and pants, he said: “…I have to help each of you find a piece of equipment. Anything is better than nothing, even if it is of battered quality.”
“The city in this level is enormous. I believe it’s not difficult to find an object that can be used as a weapon on the way. If worse comes to the worse, we can simply pick up an iron rod, or even get brother Feng use his wrench to dismantle some parts and use those as a weapon.” Long Aomin then continued. “Oh right…You mentioned earlier…that there were three possibilities concerning the darkness…”
“The first possibility: The surrounding lights did not actually turn dark. Instead our vision and hearing had simply received some sort of simultaneous interference.” Feng Bujue promptly replied. “Our eyes were blinded by the darkness and a strange noise reached our ears, but the surroundings remained the same.” He paused for a moment. “If this is true, a question will arise. Is the ‘subject’ that had been running the interference on us actually hiding nearby but we can’t see him…or is it conducting its operation from some remote location?
After hearing the words “nearby” and “can’t see him”, the remaining four people began to get a run of goosebumps, only Feng Bujue himself seemed not to care.
“Furthermore, why did that monster transform at the end? Did the thing that produced these effects on us make use of the few seconds to give some sort of ability to that monster?” After he finished wiping his bod and threw the seat cover away. “I do not want to dig too deep into this theory that’s temporarily unverifiable for now. Hmm… Let’s talk about the second possibility: that the darkness actually exists, and that it envelops not just the whole city, but the whole world that this level is set in.”
At this point, Wang Tanzhi interrupted: “How can that even happen? Leaving the street lights aside, the moon isn’t a lightbulb to be switched off at will.”
“No matter how it’s done, let us assume for the time being that some power has succeeded in doing it. In that case… The incident that happened earlier, could have been caused by a type of unknown darkness rapidly engulfing the world, which lasted for a few seconds. In these few seconds, it’s highly probable that under the effects of that darkness… the monster…underwent a physiological mutation and became stronger.”
He put away the pipe wrench, and sat down on the road curb too. “Personally, I am more inclined towards the second possibility, that this darkness is more similar to a natural phenomenon. Its target and its effects are ambiguous, and not specifically activated just to oppose us.”
Long Aomin said: “What about the third possibility?”
“The system amended the level immediately after looking at the efficiency we exhibited in killing the four monsters.” Feng Bujue replied.
“Oh, that can’t be true.” Lonely said. “Loneliness and I had went through two instances* before and had never encountered such a situation. Even when our team encountered a monster and defeated it quickly and easily, there’s never been a situation where the difficulty of the level spiked suddenly.”
(*Translator note: In massively multiplayer online games, an instance is a special area, typically a dungeon, that generates a new copy of the location for each group, or for certain number of players, that enters the area. -From wikipedia.)
Loneliness added. “We have also met players whose ranks were close to Brother Long’s before. The monsters at the start of the level were practically killed within seconds, which is why I said at the very beginning that killing everything while progressing was also a possible way to clear the level, as there was a rank 10 player leading the way.” He was telling the truth; however, because the rank ten player in the earlier level did not intend or act to specially protect them, they eventually died.
“Hmm..I too, believe that the third possibility is rather unlikely.” Feng Bujue thoughtfully replied. In fact, the main reason he came up with this hypothesis was the ending in the previous single player survival mode that the AI had created for him. At this moment, he had quickly excluded that possibility. “This is my first time in team survival mode and I am unclear about the actual situation. In that case… let’s rule out this possibility.”
At that moment, Wang Tanzhi had also finished cleaning himself up. He stood up and said: “We will find out the truth in time, right? If this goes according to what brother Feng says, darkness will still descend as long as the level continues, no matter which scenario it is.”
“True…” Long Aomin stood up, his stamina value had recovered a little. “Now then, it would be best if we settled the problem of Loneliness and Lonely’s equipment before we encounter the monster again or darkness descends again.”
Feng Bujue also got up, and said: “The route I am calculating to reach our destination will go through a police station. Once there, we can head in and search the area. There might be guns, batons… If we are lucky, we might even be able to find bulletproof vests, masks, and shields.” He seemed unable to hold himself back any longer. “I’ve wanted for a long time to know what it feels like to hold and fire a shotgun…”
Long Aomin felt nothing but fear after hearing this. Feng Bujue’s tone sounded exactly like a psychopathic killer that’s itching for a reason to kill…
After discussing for a few minutes, all of them began to move towards the police station that Feng Bujue had mentioned. Even though the dark oppressive atmosphere was still present in the surroundings and they were unaware if there were still some monsters hidden in the shadows that hindered visibility, the five of them were still looking forward to the police station that Feng Bujue had described.
One should know that ranged weapons were a rare commodity in the earlier stages of the game. Should they find a gun, particularly a relatively powerful shotgun or submachine gun, even dying in the middle of the level would still be profitable to them.