Chapter 61: School of Death (13)
As soon as the man’s words came out, the people before the projections were even more silent, followed by a louder discussion.
In the inner world of the tower, there was no shortage of people hidden in the shadows for various reasons, but these individuals were generally rumors. The players were unaware of their true strength and unlikely to know. On the contrary, it was like Yan Wei, where it begins with a potential player around and a waste in plain sight, who usually depends on someone else to survive in the tower.
The fact that Yan Mingguang was Yan was something that everyone subconsciously acquiesced in — after all, Yan Mingguang admitted to it himself.
But at this moment, Yan Wei abruptly shed all pretense of cordiality with Li Qing as everyone watched the individual narrating in great detail.
From the perspective that Yan may be Yan Wei, it seemed that everything had become more reasonable.
“I remember it!! I also watched Yan Mingguang and Yan Wei’s last instant. That instance was a rare first-answer mode. At that time, there were two first-answer points1, and I still don’t know who won the points.” A player looked more enlightened and excited. “The person most likely to have obtained those two points is Yan Wei because he was talking with Jiang Xiu at the temple’s entrance. However, he only wore an earphone, saying that he heard what the matron said through the earphone and got the points — but we don’t know if the earphone works.”
“…You mean that earphone was fake, and he didn’t get the three points Yan gave to everyone under his control, but he was on par with everyone else with the points he already had?!?”
“In this way… it makes more sense!
In Yan Mingguang and Yan Wei’s first instance, Yan Wei was the best player and took the code name Yan, and in the second instance, Yan Wei controlled everything from behind while Yan Mingguang performed on the surface, completing full control of the instance points. In the end, Yan Wei and Yan Mingguang acquired the highest score. The best players in the Ankang Ancient Town instance were Yan and Day. Didn’t Day seem closer to Yan Mingguang?”
Everyone suddenly realized!
Light as bright as Day2.
Day was Yan Mingguang. Yan was Yan Wei.
This so-called waste that they were ignoring was the one they had been trying to recruit or eliminate.
In the crowd, among the several high-level players from Polian, a player named Zhong Xing first showed an expression of surprise and sudden awareness like everyone else. Quickly, he restrained his reaction and said to the surrounding Polian players, “Whether it’s Yan or Day, they’re both seeds good enough to participate in competitive instances, and they’re not in an organization yet. If they can come out, you all should quickly think of ways and use all methods to recruit them.”
“But didn’t you say before that it wasn’t worth fighting against Yuemang for Yan?”
Zhong Xing’s voice was firm. “That was before. Now, I think it’s worth it.”
At the same time, similar conversations were taking place in various organizations.
Apart from Xuanniao.
As Lin Qing listened to the details, his eyes moved lightly, no emotions visible in his ink eyes.
He just waited as all the players grew heated. When the sensation subsided a little, he said, “Everyone, the allotted time is almost up.”
“You should all get out.”
Yan Mingguang slowly opened his eyes.
It was already late at night, and not even the moonlight could weaken the darkness in the dormitory. Even though their players had a perception that surpassed that of ordinary people, Yan Mingguang still couldn’t see Yan Wei’s facial features.
The young man was leaning against him, shrinking inward even further than before he fell asleep, his entire body practically nestling in Yan Mingguang’s arms.
At the window, in front of the bells, a pale, short-haired girl wearing the school uniform stood silently, her white eyes facing Yan Mingguang’s direction.
The moonlight outlined the ghost’s shape as a chilly wind wooshed by the window.
On the lower bunk on the other side, Lin Zhen also woke up. He was currently draped in the blanket, lying on the bed, and looking at the ghost. Holding his cheek in one hand, a pen in the other, he drew her appearance on the paper in front of him.
Yan Mingguang: “…”
He retracted his gaze and, in such a situation, looked at Yan Wei in his arms.
The blanket opened slightly because of his slight turn, and a cold breeze poured in. Yan Wei huddled further into Yan Mingguang, perhaps feeling cold. Yan Mingguang didn’t avoid him and naturally protected the person in his arms.
As long as Yan Wei lay with him, Yan Wei would always lean towards him every night after falling asleep.
Yan Mingguang discovered this earlier, but he didn’t resist and couldn’t comprehend why.
Yan Wei asked Yan Mingguang several times about his past before entering the tower, but he didn’t answer — not because he didn’t want to, but because he didn’t have an answer. In his memory, the past was blank, with only some vague images and a swallow necklace. His memory began when he met Yan Wei at the Promenade Hotel. But today, an aura of familiarity existed everywhere, and the impact of the Full Moon fragment instantly lifted his previous blankness.
It was a memory of Yan Wei, who was high-spirited and had a clear goal.
Yan Mingguang stared at Yan Wei for an indefinite period. The ghost by the window, which couldn’t tempt them to make a sound, disappeared. Lin Zhen had nothing to draw, so he threw the pen and paper aside and covered himself with the blanket to sleep again.
The dormitory returned to its original calm.
Yan Mingguang sighed silently and slowly closed his eyes.
When the first ray of sunshine fell, everyone woke up immediately.
Yan Mingguang seemed to be the first to get up. When Yan Wei was sitting beside the bed wearing his school uniform and jacket, the man had already removed the two nets in the dormitory. He was leaning against the window, his thoughts unknown.
Yan Wei’s mind was still stuck on the last moment of his dream.
In the dream, Yan Mingguang asked him what his purpose was for reaching the top.
He wanted to respond, but after some thought, he was silent. He seemed to have answered but couldn’t recall what he said.
Then, he opened his eyes.
Yan Wei rubbed his temples, yawned, and called Yan Mingguang lazily, “Hey, Ice Cube.”
Yan Mingguang looked back at him.
“Why do you want to climb to the top?”
Yan Mingguang’s expression remained unchanged. “Pandora’s Box.”
“Oh yes, I remembered. Only by reaching the top can you receive a one-time reward of 100,000 points, and it takes 100,000 points to redeem Pandora’s Box. So what am I in for..?”
It seemed that he just had to step into the tower and enter the instances constantly to survive.
The Pandora’s Box, which could fulfill any wish, was the dream of many players in the tower, but Yan Wei appeared unable to raise much interest when he first saw this thing in the exchange mall.
“Forget it. It would be nice to be able to reach the top.” As he rose, he said casually, “I dreamed of you last night. You talked a little more in the dream and weren’t so dignified. If it weren’t for the fact that you were much cuter in the dream than you are now, I’d almost think we knew each other before.”
Yan Mingguang reacted faster than ever and said almost immediately, “Thinking too much.”
Lin Zhen, dressed in the school uniform, brought a piece of paper in front of Yan Wei, unfolded it for him to see, and said, “Look, the ghost standing by your bed last night was scary. I’m afraid you and Yan Mingguang were sleeping and didn’t get to see it, so I drew it for you.”
Yan Wei raised his eyes and glanced at the impaired level of drawing, and after a rare pause, said with difficulty, “I don’t know if that ghost was scary, but I’m sure your drawing is scarier than the actual ghost.”
“…It shows my drawing skills are superb. Green born out of blue3.”
Yan Wei: “…”
The six tidied up and walked out of the dormitory.
As soon as they stepped out, they collided with the people next door.
In the hallway in front of 407 and 406, strewn everywhere were severed limbs, red spurted in all directions, and a strong smell of blood filled the air.
It was Yue Wenxing’s corpse, torn apart alive by ghosts. The body wasn’t even complete, and it was unknown where some limbs had gone.
Last night, Li Qing tricked the members of Yuemang, who were initially staying in 406, into heading to 303, where there was a ghost array, to spend the night at their dormitory. Those Yuemang people, including Yue Wenxing, died.
Yan Wei and the others looked at Li Qing and the other people across the fragmented corpse. Yan Wei chuckled lightly. “Why are your complexions so dark? Ah, didn’t you all hear the scenario clearly in the dorm yesterday?”
Li Qing clenched his fist tightly, looked at Yan Wei through gritted teeth, and said, “You’ve been playing us since the beginning when you told me that you and Yan Mingguang had fallen out?”
Yan Wei raised his chin slightly and gave an “uh-huh.”
“Soner or later, I’ll have all your heads cut off.” Li Qing declared.
Lin Zhen let out a “wow,” pointed at Yue Wenxing’s body, and exclaimed, “No way, wasn’t he the first person to be decapitated? Oh, it seems he’s from Yuemang!”
Following his words, Li Qing’s face became even more gloomy, and the members of Yuemang behind him looked uglier — as Yan Wei said, Li Qing seemed to have overcome a problem, but in fact, he had planted a seed of distrust in the hearts of Yuemang’s living players.
Li Qing didn’t notice the expressions of Yuemang’s people behind him, and he was still upset about yesterday’s defeat. “Even if you were concealing your strength, Yuemang never said they’d kill you, right? Since you’ve taken refuge in Yuemang, isn’t it better to remain in Yuemang till the end than to hang out with these lone wolf players? Do you believe that Yan Mingguang and the others will always trust you? Yan Wei, why do you have to—”
Yan Wei raised his hand and made a gesture of “silence.”
“Stop. You were wrong from the start.”
He winked at Yan Mingguang and the others before taking a slow stride across the bloody mess on the ground. When he arrived at Li Qing’s side, he stopped, quietly smiled, and asked, “Do you know where you’re wrong?”
“Your mistake is not recognizing my position. I’m not defecting to Yuemang, not because of other people but because I am the one you want to kill the most.”
Gradually, Li Qing’s eyes widened.
After a while, he exclaimed, “You’re Yan??”
Yan Wei didn’t look back — selfishness and suspicion were already lingering among the Yuemang players, and Yue Wenxing’s death was the least of their worries.
He, Yan Mingguang, and the others did not squander time. They continued investigating deaths in other areas of the dormitory building.
More people died last night.
Including the four from Yuemang, seventeen players died in various ways.
As with yesterday, eaten corpses appeared on the second floor. There were two in total, along with some scattered body parts.
Yan Wei knelt in front of one of the corpses with gloves on and, with Gao Ming, carefully observed the deceased’s wounds.
“Actually, this kind of thing happened when my batch came in,” Gao Ming said, “There were often bodies like this on the second floor, but our last batch wasn’t as large as yours, and there weren’t many people who died this way. And those bodies that died a day before would disappear, most likely pulled into the ghost hand space or something like that. But as a result, none of us old players have carefully investigated it or investigated it to no avail.”
“Has anyone checked the second floor?”
“No, because the frequency was not high before, only happening two or three times, and there were not many people. It’s also the first time I’ve seen it up close like this. Anyway, I’m certain these marks are in the shape of human teeth, but the bite force isn’t something a person can do. It shouldn’t be active only on the second floor. Judging from my professional experience, it’s very likely these body parts belong to Yue Wenxing…”
—Yesterday night, dorm 303’s ghost summoning array had attracted an apparition!
Yu Feizhou frowned. “Could this be another way to die? Like the other regularities Yan Wei discovered, someone was eaten to death, so players who triggered certain conditions would die by the ghosts eating them alive?”
Yan Wei slowly got up, shook his head, and said, “Impossible. We still have a question that we haven’t been able to answer. Even if it’s a constant repetition of the corresponding death method, how did the first death happen? The cycle needs to have a beginning. Yes, even if it’s a Möbius strip4, there’ll be a moment when the two key points of the strip rotate and align. Suppose something happens so that this Möbius ring, which represents the method of death, snaps on and begins a constant cyclic repetition, then this cannibalism…”
He pointed to one of the corpses with a consumed head. “Examine the consumption locations. It’s irregular. Some had half of the body, others the upper body, a few the lower body, and several had eaten heads. How could the first consumed person who became a ghost, if entirely devoured, transform into a ghost monster and eat people? What did they use to eat these players if their head was eaten? Even if the first deceased’s head was not consumed, and they could have continued to eat other players to replicate the death process, their killing method is inconsistent.”
“I understand what you mean.” Yu Feizhou had a sudden realization. “It’s like Nie Liang drowning, the electric fan cutting a head off, and the person piercing their throat with a pen after spinning it, standing in the same position and being pushed into the water… They’re all replicas of the death. There were no changes in the posture, medium, or location.”
The corner of Yan Wei’s mouth curled up. “Yes. But you see, the locations of these eaten corpses are messy. The ghost would even chase Yue Wenxing to the fourth floor and then take away some of Yue Wenxing’s limbs. The positions of these dead people are different, the number of dead people is not necessarily the same, and the parts eaten seem random. The human-eating ghost should be devouring the same part, but this one isn’t. This method of death is the only one we’ve seen so far that does not conform to the pattern, and there must be a reason for the anomaly.”
Yan Mingguang glanced at the clock. “There are still ten minutes before class.”
Yan Wei subconsciously turned to Yan Mingguang.
The man’s gaze met his gaze in mid-air. Yan Wei stared at the man’s calm face and saw no excess emotions. But he always felt that Yan Mingguang was odd — Yan Mingguang understood what he wanted to do without Yan Wei saying anything and even informed him how much time remained.
Yan Mingguang knew him too well.
But he couldn’t find anything unusual.
Yan Wei averted his gaze and blinked, his eyelashes fluttering faintly.
He said, “Within the ten minutes before class, we’ll be doing a thorough search on the second floor.”
Lin Zhen raised his eyebrows. “Oh? Why search the second floor?”
“Our thoughts are too chaotic now. Classes, teachers, students, and death… we must find a starting point to begin spreading out. And I think this way of dying… is a breakthrough.”
Oh my word, it’s been over a month (ﾟДﾟ;) I felt burned out from school, translating, and covid (it turned out to be worse than I expected) and decided to take a break which ended up extending to over a month. But I’m back and won’t be dropping any of my current translations. I’ve also decided to revise the story’s older chapters and improve the translation quality a bit with several already edited. Happy update ヾ( ˃ᴗ˂ )◞ • *✰