Survivorship Bias Chapter 6
“Is this man mute?”
The bread fell and landed on An Wujiu’s lap. He glanced down, then looked up at them.
Ueno didn’t comment on Liu Chengwei’s actions just now. He even smiled and urged, “Take a bite.”
But An Wujiu had no appetite at the moment. He smiled at Ueno. “No, thank you.”
Ueno didn’t respond, only glancing at Liu Chengwei. Liu Chengwei clicked his tongue irritably, picked up the bread on An Wujiu’s lap, and suddenly grabbed An Wujiu’s chin with his other hand.
“Why are you doing there staring blankly?!” He kicked An Wujiu’s lower abdomen, pressed his knee against An Wujiu’s legs, using a harsh manner to fix him on the sofa so he couldn’t flee, then turned to Ueno and shouted, “Give me a hand!”
An Wujiu guessed they weren’t only here to feed him, but Liu Chengwei pressed him fiercely. The man’s other leg’s knee crushed against his severely injured wrist, and An Wujiu couldn’t resist. When he saw Ueno stuffing the dry and hard bread into his mouth, he shook his head in defiance, but Liu Chengwei gripped it even harder, nearly crushing his face.
“Cough! Cough, cough!” The bread nearly blocked his air pipe, and An Wujiu swallowed it while continuously hacking.
“It should do…” Ueno told Liu Chengwei, “As long as he eats it, the task will be successful.”
Sure enough, it was to complete his task.
An Wujiu bowed his head and coughed, blushing. The stuffed food, along with the humiliation, suffocated him.
Liu Chengwei laughed. “That means I can also rob? I’ll try.”
“You only have two chances.” Ueno was afraid that he would incur losses and tried to stop Liu Chengwei.
Liu Chengwei didn’t care at all. On the one hand, he urgently wanted to beat and humiliate this supposedly “powerful” man because it would give him enormous pleasure. On the other hand, he had faith in his skills and was confident he wouldn’t run out of supplies.
“I’ll just grab it.”
He grabbed half of the bread that Ueno “generously” provided, which An Wujiu didn’t finish, and the bread’s floating label changed to [Liu Chengwei].
Liu Chengwei laughed. “I really can!”
Ueno stood on his tiptoes and took a glance. “Ah, it’s yours so soon.”
“What are you afraid of? Haven’t you already completed the task of sharing food? There’s still tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. By then, your supplies will double, and you’ll be much stronger than me.”
They left, talking and laughing. An Wujiu spat bread onto Liu Chengwei’s shoes, causing Liu Chengwei to kick him before departing.
Leaning on the sofa, the low-spirited An Wujiu suddenly thought of a strategy that could save himself but was rather vicious.
However, he gave up quickly, as determined as an extinguished cigarette butt. He even had some self-doubt, feeling strange that he could think of such a method.
An Wujiu sat silently for some time. By the time he arose, it was already eleven o’clock. Thirst compelled him to move instinctively, and he approached the area where Shen Ti stood, but the other party had disappeared.
Finally, he stopped in front of a low cabinet, picked up the bottle of champagne abandoned by Shen Ti, and took a sip.
The taste wasn’t bad.
After wiping the corner of his mouth, he picked up the wine bottle and proceeded to a door in the living room that opened onto another lengthy, twisting corridor. The path was gloomy, with no end in sight. Installed in every meter of the walls was a circular device An Wujiu couldn’t see clearly. Whenever he passed one, the thing would suddenly illuminate. It was a lamp in the shape of a youthful angel but with only the head.
They glowed behind An Wujiu one after the other, then went out.
As he walked deeper, he realized a corner was ahead of him, not a straight hall.
There were voices of dialogue, but they were so quiet that An Wujiu couldn’t make out what they were saying. He instantly retreated before passing a lamp and stood in the shadows.
Because his footsteps were scarcely audible, the other party didn’t notice him. He could faintly identify Yang Ming and Ueno based on his memories of the voices.
Even though he couldn’t hear the conversation clearly, An Wujiu noticed something strange. In contrast to Yang Ming’s earlier condition of trying to control everything, the timid Ueno spoke more, while Yang Ming just responded without saying anything.
He needed to move closer if he wanted to listen, but An Wujiu didn’t want to take any risks.
The voices gradually faded and then vanished. An Wujiu heard the footsteps of two people inside dispersing.
He stood quietly in the corridor for a while before walking in.
The interior structure was more intricate. At the end of the corridor was a small square-shaped portico with four or five doorways, including a Baroque-style circular arch with a beautifully carved angel statue and [Lounge] projected over the archway. The white archway should have evoked feelings of delicateness and divine artistry, but it was still early in the morning. Because there was no light here, the dark green projection became the only illumination on the dreary portico. Even the holy angel grew unsettling.
An Wujiu turned his head. The other doorways projected [Piano Room], [Reading Room], [Reference Room], and [Meeting Room]. Behind the doors was another winding and circuitous corridor.
The bunker’s design made it quite ideal for secret gatherings.
Inside the [Lounge] entrance was another portico. An Wujiu noticed Zhong Yirou’s back as soon as he pushed the door open.
The porch was bigger and brighter than the previous one, with eight different carved arches labeled with numbers 1 through 8 and people’s names.
[1 Yang Ming], [2 Zhong Yirou], [3 Ueno Taisei], [4 Wu You], [5 An Wujiu], [6 Old Yu], [7 Shen Ti], [8 Liu Chengwei]
“It’s not exactly in order of survival value, right?” Zhong Yirou said without turning her head.
An Wujiu didn’t pretend and gave a soft hum.
She turned her head and smiled at An Wujiu. “You don’t make a sound when you walk.”
“Then how did you find out?” An Wujiu asked.
Zhong Yirou cocked her brow. “Women’s intuition.” Her eyes revealed some purposeful sadness once she finished speaking. “What should I do? You’re being completely targeted.”
An Wujiu remained silent. He was assessing this woman’s current attitude.
“I said it clearly.” Zhong Yirou raised her hands. “At the moment, I am unable to help you.”
She retrieved her data, and a fluorescent green health bar appeared on top of her head. “My force value is the lowest. Even if I use my two chances to nurse myself, I only have three health bars. If I duel, I’ll be unable to protect myself.”
Hearing her so direct, An Wujiu felt much more relaxed. He thought of something and slowly asked, “What happens when you die?”
“Didn’t the divine voice say it? Brain-dead.” She tapped her temples. “Aren’t we all in a game cabin in reality? That thing is like a capsule. If we die, and there’s a confirmation we’re not in suspended animation 24 hours later, the mechanism in the capsule will automatically eject us into the processing factory. We’ll be recycled and turned into fertilizer.”
With disgust, she added, “This style of death is not elegant at all.”
“How do you know?” An Wujiu asked.
Zhong Yirou paused, and her usually bright and amorously thought-filled face took on a rare dismal countenance.
“I saw it with my own eyes.”
She frowned slightly, then immediately let it go. Her magnanimous look quickly returned. “When I entered the capsule, my little sister was next to me, and we made an appointment to come out together, but she… left first.”
Hearing this, An Wujiu was a bit moved. He had already begun formulating words of comfort in his mind, but his mouth couldn’t keep up, so Zhong Yirou took the lead.
“So.” She didn’t hide it. “To survive, I won’t necessarily stand on Yang Ming’s side.”
An Wujiu nodded silently.
His well-behaved and sensible appearance made Zhong Yirou even more suspicious of Yang Ming’s words. She kindly offered a strategy. “Since you’re like this, it’s best to get along with Ueno or Liu Chengwei. One can duplicate the supplies, while the other can seize them, and perhaps, they’ll offer you some.”
An Wujiu did not respond and did not intend to inform Zhong Yirou of what had occurred. However, Zhong Yirou was too sharp, and she kept staring at his red cheeks.
This feeling of being scrutinized was not very comfortable, and An Wujiu tried to walk away. He noticed a thick-looking book fastened to the wall next to door 8 and walked towards it.
“You don’t actually intend to let everyone survive safe and sound.” Zhong Yirou followed him and stood before the book.
An Wujiu stretched out a hand towards the book. “Do you think I’m… lying?”
The book seemed to have been around for a long time, and he couldn’t turn the page. It was as if the book had been frozen for a lengthy period, coated in a thick layer of dust.
“Yang Ming said many similar things, but my heart was still touched when you said those words. I haven’t encountered a good person on the Altar in a long time, even if they were pretending to be good like that.”
An Wujiu smiled and said nothing.
“Idealists are short-lived here.”
Seeing him open the book, Zhong Yirou also leaned in, blew off the dust on it, and read the contents of the two pages aloud. There was a lot of blank space and little text, appearing to be the written requirements.
- Players must enter their rooms at night. After midnight, sleeping gas will be released across the whole area, forcing everyone to sleep (except for the employee with the ability to stay up late). Players will not wake up after falling asleep until the effects of the substance have entirely worn off at 6:00 am when they will gradually awaken.
- Before 12:00 am on the first night, players can enter the rooms adjacent to theirs. Other rooms are not allowed, and No. 1 and No. 8 are considered adjacent spaces. Entering other rooms by forced means is a foul (with the exception of the vagrant’s ability), and there will be a reduction of half the energy value.
- If a player stays the first night in another room, they must enter the next room on the second night following the route of the first night. If a player remains in their room, the left and right routes are available, and so on.
- Players can stay in other people’s rooms without fouling.
After reading, Zhong Yirou pondered for a while.
“What a strange rule. It’s like playing chess.” She turned to look at An Wujiu with an expression that her views needed to be accepted.
To satisfy her, An Wujiu also nodded.
“So, for instance, you.” She stood at the door of Room 5. “If you don’t want to go to your room tonight, you can only go to Room 4 or Room 6, and the next night, you can only…”
“Go to number 3 or 7,” An Wujiu replied.
“That’s right,” Zhong Yirou thought, “It’s written in the regulations that you’ll forcibly fall asleep at midnight. Even if you go to another person’s room, what can you do? Is it possible to even do something indescribable?”
It was obviously a dirty joke, but An Wujiu’s face didn’t waver, and his eyes were even pure. He repeated Zhong Yirou’s words with a slightly questioning voice. “Indescribable…”
After saying the word, the seventh door suddenly opened from the inside.
It was Shen Ti.
He came out wearing red headphones and bobbing his head.
Zhong Yirou was briefly startled by him. “Why are you here?”
Shen Ti pointed to the number 7 on the door and his name, opened the door, shut it again, and then proceeded to room 5. He reached out and tried to open the door by twisting the handle, but it wouldn’t budge. Afterward, he turned around to face the two, raised his arms above his chest, and crossed his arms, making a “cannot” sign.
Zhong Yirou narrowed her eyes and turned her head to look at An Wujiu, her voice low.
“…Is this man mute?”
An Wujiu shook his head and debunked it. “He… spoke earlier.”
Shen Ti tilted his head to An Wujiu and placed his hand on his hips to express his dissatisfaction.
Zhong Yirou ignored his actions and continued questioning, “What did he say?”
An Wujiu hesitated for two seconds before ultimately inhaling, setting the wine bottle in his hand on the floor, and raising his hand to his lips.
The author has something to say:
Shen Ti, you are really good at finding the ideal moment to come out.
Shen Ti: I wanted to go to my wife’s room, but I was greeted.