Chapter 53: School of Death (5)
Yan Wei followed Yue Wenxing to the teaching building, where they met up with Li Qing and the others.
It was nearly time for class, and the frigid building was bustling with students, ranging from prominent players to stiff NPC students. Except for the players that came in alone, all other players from different organizations operated in groups, and the various organizations seldom interacted with one other — in this instance, they were all rivals after a single legendary item.
The total number of students in Chenxi High School was not huge, and there were only a few seemingly identical classrooms. Players entered the classrooms according to their intuition and sat down temporarily to observe the situation.
Li Qing was leading Yuemang’s people to stand in the hallway. When he saw Yan Wei and Yue Wenxing coming over, his eyes darkened, and he asked, “Is it done?”
Yue Wenxing nodded with a pale complexion. “Yan Wei mentioned Yan Mingguang would examine the room, so I set up a ghost formation that would only disappear once the time was up, but it consumed a lot of my energy. I probably won’t be able to help today.”
Li Qing smiled and said, “What you’ve done today was already a big favor. Jiang Xiu, the fool, was not as skilled yet rushed to his death, making all the players in the tower witness a joke. Because of this incident, the number of seeds Yuemang can recruit has reduced greatly. Yan has been solved, which will bring immeasurable benefits to Yuemang. After going out, I will transfer the promised points and items to you.”
Yue Wenxing appeared delighted. “Thank you, Li-ge!”
Yan Wei watched the two men’s exchanges in silence, and it became increasingly clear in his mind.
–It seems that Yuemang entered the instance, and the individuals brought in were not entirely loyal.
After all, it was a mobile instance with ten deceased. Except for players with emotional ties, most of Yuemang’s players were linked by interests. As a result, when this group of people is at the juncture of life and death, they will most likely become a sheet of loose sand1.
He then devised a plan for the bell network, and the odds of winning increased by a few percent.
“Li-ge,” Yue Wenxing asked, “Are we not going into the classroom?”
“Wait a minute.”
Yan Mingguang and the others arrived at the school just several minutes before class. Li Qing watched as Yan Mingguang and Lin Zhen chose a classroom to enter and brought Yuemang into that classroom.
Yan Wei suddenly understood — once Li Qing, a man of shrewdness, set his sights on a person, he would do anything to kill the other person. Although he had already made a move of recruiting ghosts, Li Qing still did not miss any other opportunities. It was incredibly convenient for Yan Wei. He could not only follow Yuemang to gather additional information before tonight but also stay with Yan Mingguang alongside the others.
Although his heart was happy, his face grew more flustered.
He glanced at Yan Mingguang and the others who had already sat down with a guilty conscience, hid behind Li Qing, and followed them into the classroom.
When the numb-faced instructor NPC stepped inside, a player sitting in the third row spinning a pen stopped.
His eyes widened, his pupils violently shrank, and he looked forward in horror. His hand that held the pen made its way uncontrollably towards his throat while his head sank slowly and stiffly as if something from behind was pressing it.
The teacher had already walked to the podium. The moment the class bell rang, the teacher numbly said, “I am your math teacher. You can call me Mr. Wang. Yesterday, some new students entered the school. I’ll repeat the rules. Our high school doesn’t have high requirements for students. As long as they can learn the content, they are not forced to listen to the lecture.”
Mr. Wang was speaking, but the players’ attentions were not on him.
It was unknown who shouted, “Look!”
Everyone turned to look in the direction the person pointed.
On a third-row seat, the player spinning the pen lowered his head, raised his hand with a jerk, and stabbed his throat directly with the pen!
The blood dripped from the tip of the pen on the textbook. The player’s body slumped forward on the desk, eyes widened, and his expression remained one of terror and bewilderment.
All the players present sank — another inexplicably died.
Some of the student NPCs screamed. In a panic, one got up and tried to flee, but they knocked over the desk and chair in front of them and banged their head into the sharp corner of the desk as they fell, instantly dying!
Mr. Wang didn’t even look at the two dead “students.” He just sighed and added, “I’ve said it many times. As long as they are students of Chenxi High School, they may die at any time. Pay attention to safety, everyone. Okay, let’s begin class.”
Amid the speculation, panic, and confusion, Yan Wei, sitting in the far corner, seamlessly took out the Skeleton Eye — the item obtained in the first instance. It could spot danger, but it was heavily restricted and could only be used once per instance.
He slowly raised the eye of the skeleton in front of him and looked at the player whose pen had penetrated his throat.
Under the blood-splattered tabletop, in the drawer shrouded in darkness, a pale face slowly poked out.
Its hair was sticky and unkempt. Its face was pallid, blood oozed from the corners of its eyes, nostrils, and lips, and it had a pair of ghostly white eyes. Yan Wei didn’t notice the bloody pen lodged in this thing’s throat until it stretched out its entire head.
While everyone was still looking at the teacher as he walked in, Yan Wei turned to the player who had an accident due to his exceptional perception. Something was amiss in Yan Wei’s heart, and he promptly took out the Skeleton Eye. Sure enough, he saw this thing in the drawer.
The speculation was once again confirmed, but Yan Wei’s thoughts became more and more solemn.
The first death trigger was to violate the basic rules of the instance, such as the told dormitory rule — do not speak after dark. This direct method of disclosing to the players how to survive through the lips of NPCs was the tower giving the players an opportunity for survival. It was equivalent to giving away points.
As for other death triggering conditions, except for the player’s half-eaten corpse, what currently existed was the repeated method of death. A ghost under a specific death method will forcefully kill the player when the player or student NPC violates their death trajectory. No matter how high the player’s physical stat is, they will not be able to resist once they reach this step.
It seems he discovered the solution, but he has not.
—All deaths have a source. Players die from ghosts with the same method of death, but where did those ghosts originate?
Additionally, deaths that leave traces, like drowning and spinning a pen, may leave certain clues that can be detected and avoided. However, deaths like eating a cracker at the school gate gave no signs and were inescapable.
No matter what one did, there was a probability of dying.
Everything returned to the predicament at the beginning — they could not avoid it, only passively hoping that death would not randomly befall them.
Naturally, this would only worsen the situation because of the growing number of players, and there would be no way to find and avoid the original ghosts’ causes of death. Will players who enter and afterward die also transform into one of those ghosts?
There was also competition among players. Players will not only die from this death trigger but possibly from conspiracy and struggle, and the number of ways to die will only increase.
With the passage of time and the growing number of incoming players, the likelihood of getting selected by random death… will continue to expand at an increasing rate!!
Yan Wei came to this awful conclusion, and at the same time, the neck of the unclean creature jutting out of the drawer gradually rotated and gazed towards Yan Wei’s direction with an almost twisted arc.
Through the eye of the skeleton, Yan Wei and this thing’s pale eyeballs met, and he instantly caught this thing’s eyeballs trembling. The already pale face seemed to stiffen for a moment.
Then, as if on the run, the creature retracted sharply into the drawer.
Why did it suddenly hide after looking at him?
Yan Wei’s breathing sped up slightly, and under the shroud of perception, a sense of ominousness that rushed to his brain vibrated in his mind. It was an almost subconscious action. He quickly put away the Skeleton Eye before pushing the chair and abruptly falling back, appearing to be in a state of terror.
At the sound of the collision, Yan Wei fell to the ground.
The electric fan above Yan Wei’s original seat trembled and instantly descended, the fan blades rotating at an abnormal speed.
The player sitting in front of Yan Wei had not yet reacted when the fan blade sliced his neck cleanly.
Their body still sat on the seat, and the player’s head had already rolled around Yan Wei a few times.
Yan Wei took in a breath.
—The creature sticking its head out of the drawer was not looking at him but saw the thing beside him with the electric fan. He was currently in his normal state, and if he were still sitting when the fan fell, he would have been instantly decapitated.
Just recently, the death that could come at any time also happened to him.
Li Qing looked over from nearby, looked at the head indifferently, and sneered at Yan Wei, “the survivor of a calamity.” “Your fortune is quite large, kid. So timid you fell and survived.”
At the same time, a similar situation occurred in the other classrooms.
The screams and the collision of various objects knocked over were interspersed, but the voices of the teachers never stopped, blending dullness with the terror.
The sun outside dispelled the thin morning fog on the campus, and a golden light shone down, calmly illuminating the chaos of the teaching building.
When everything calmed down, the teachers were still numbly teaching their lessons, and it was not as if the veteran players had gotten used to it. Not long after, they headed straight out of the classroom for clues.
Three corpses bled in the classroom while Mr. Wang’s insipid lesson continuously sounded.
Li Qing frowned and said to the Yuemang players around him, “Looking at the reactions of these veteran players, we can skip class, and there should be no clues in the class, just a mandatory process — otherwise, they wouldn’t have left the classroom after rollcall. Other groups are starting to leave. We have to look elsewhere in the school for clues, or we’ll be one step slower. Let’s go.”
At this moment, Yan Wei rose from the ground with “lingering fear” and asked nervously, “Li-ge, do we have to go? I… I’m afraid that all of a sudden…”
Li Qing looked at him and then glanced at Yan Mingguang on the other side of the classroom, who seemed to not plan on leaving.
His eyes flashed, and he whispered, “Stay here if you don’t want to search for clues. It just so happens that Yue Wenxing is relatively weak now. You two stay in the classroom and watch Yan. In anything happens to Yan—”
He raised his hand, handed Yue Wenxing and Yan Wei the walkie-talkie used by Yuemang players, and continued, “Notify me with this.”
Li Qing glanced at Yue Wenxing again and gave a silent look. Yue Wenxing noticed and nodded silently — they knew it was not so much letting Yan Wei and Yue Wenxing look at yan but allowing Yue Wenxing to observe Yan Wei and Yan’s situation. Li Qing was using Yan Wei, but he couldn’t totally rely on Yan Wei as a Yuemang player.
Yan Wei pretended to know nothing about the two men’s movements and looked glad, clutching the walkie-talkie tightly and nodding fiercely. “Okay, okay! Then… Li-ge, if in danger, I’ll call you on the walkie-talkie, and you’ll—”
“I will come, but I have more important things. If you’re just casually looking for me, don’t blame me for not helping.”
Li Qing immediately left with the other members.
Mr. Wang was still teaching in the classroom with few people left. Yan Wei sat down slowly and extended his perception: 【Can you guys hear me? 】
Yu Feizhou raised an eyebrow: 【Yes.】
【Tsk, little pet, your skill is really useful.】
Zhou Tian and Gao Ming also responded separately.
Communicating with five people was more physically consuming than speaking with Yan Mingguang alone. After just one sentence, Yan Wei’s face turned pale, and a cold sweat broke out on his forehead.
He told the others about how he encountered a method of death, which would accumulate, and spoke of the additionally drawn conclusions. Then, he said rapidly: 【There must be some way to avoid random death. It should have something to do with the root cause of the deaths, which also connects to the staircase.】
【This class can’t be a fake procedure. Those old players left because they felt there weren’t any clues in the class, but I think they’re just unable to find any clues. The teacher NPCs are significantly more complex than the students and must know some information. However, after several attempts, the teacher provided no hints. I feel the problem isn’t a lack of clues but rather that the clues need to be pushed out of the teacher’s mouth through other methods.】
Lin Zhen yawned in boredom: 【Shorten the story and say the conclusion. Little pet, I despise this kind of textbook-like rambling.】
【Okay, four words then: sit down and study. 】
Lin Zhen: 【…】
Thank you for the coffees! Will be working on extra chapters to upload soon ♡✧( ु•⌄• )