Ch89 - Game Malfunction
(A BUG Appeared)
Edited by Silver Wind
A burst of static transmitted out from the phone, followed by a hoarse-sounding male voice: “Greetings, Life Science Research Company, how may I help you”
The players were slightly perplexed.
Weren’t all the researchers in that base dead Did a fish actually slip out of the net
Shen Dongqing: “Uh…”
He passed the phone to Zhou Wenyan directly.
Instead of taking the phone, Zhou Wenyan leaned closer and started to talk to the other person on the line.
“We saw your recruitment notice, is your company still hiring”
“Cough cough…” That person coughed a few times before he said, “We are, which post are you applying for”
Zhou Wenyan: “Researcher.”
The person on the other end went silent for a moment before he replied: “We’re not hiring researchers and logistical staff anymore.”
Perceiving that the call receiver was about to hang up the phone, Zhou Wenyan pinched the recruitment notice as he said: “We’ll apply to be volunteers then.”
“Volunteers… There are still a few vacancies, all of you can come over to register.”
Zhou Wenyan asked: “Where is the company’s location”
“It’s written at the back of the recruitment notice.
Please arrive before 5 in the evening, being late is not acceptable.”
The call was cut off.
Zhou Wenyan flipped the paper over, and an address appeared on the back page which used to be blank.
Life Science Research Company.
Address: 144 Hope Street #04-401
Wu Jia looked towards the street sign at this side: “This is Peach Blossom Road.”
The city was so big and there was not a single passer-by that they could ask.
Having to find the location was akin to fishing a needle from the sea.
It was going to be one in the afternoon soon, trying to reach there before five o’ clock seemed unlikely.
Zhou Wenyan kept the recruitment notice and walked into the convenience store.
Shen Dongqing trailed after him.
He perused the sales counter before he finally chose a lollipop, but before he could tear it open, he was stopped by someone.
Zhou Wenyan took away the lollipop in his hand with a tint of helplessness colouring his visage.
Shen Dongqing blinked his eyes.
“What did you get”
Zhou Wenyan: “A map.”
It was a map of the city.
Fortunately, convenience stores were obligated to sell them, or else they would be wasting a lot of time on just trying to find the place.
Zhou Wenyan unfolded the map on the ground, and their group encircled the map to look for the small print of “Hope Road”.
Shen Dongqing pointed at one of the areas, saying: “This place looks incredibly familiar.”
Looking over, Zhou Wenyan realised that the building layout was extremely familiar, in the sense that it was similar to the university town from the previous fabricated world.
“It seems like the fabricated world was created with this city as its basis.”
He continued to look down.
A short distance away from where Shen Dongqing was pointing, there was a road that was marked with the words “Hope Road”.
* * *
Fortunately, Hope Road was not far from their current location, or else they would really fail to reach the given address by five o’ clock.
They did not know if it was a coincidence, but the Life Science Research Company was situated at the exact same place as the school teaching building in the fabricated reality.
It was just that the teaching building had become an apartment building here, and it did not look like a company at all from its external appearance.
Wu Jia: “A shell company”
It did not look very proper.
The group walked into the narrow corridor and went upstairs.
Upon reaching the fourth floor, an anti-theft door obstructed their way.
There was a simple but crude plaque hanging on the wall beside the door, and “Life Science Research Company” was written on top to be precise.
The door was locked.
Wu Jia went up to knock on the door, but there seemed to be no response, so he knocked again.
“It’s not five o’ clock yet…”
At this moment, Shen Dongqing stepped up as he rolled up his sleeves.
“I’ll do it.”
Understanding that he was going to perform his unique door opening skills, he quickly moved aside as he said: “Go easy on it, that’s an anti-theft door—”
Before he could finish his words, he heard a loud bang and the anti-theft door split open with a crack.
Shen Dongqing retracted his hand.
Wu Jia: Assume that I didn’t say anything.
There was an office behind the door which was remodelled from an apartment layout.
The interiors were quite messy, since there were stacks upon stacks of files heaped on the table and cigarette butts were strewn all over the floor.
Shen Dongqing rubbed his nose, not very fond of the smell.
Zhou Wenyan went over to open the window.
A gust of wind blew in, causing the files to rustle with noise.
One of the papers flew towards him and he snagged it to take a look.
Some of the work requirements were listed on the parchment, like the fixed quota of volunteers they had to recruit every month.
Meanwhile, the other players were already rummaging through the place like a light carriage going down a familiar road.
However, before they could find any useful clues, a series of footsteps suddenly rang out from outside.
The players exchanged glances.
Under the circumstances where they did not know if it was a ghost or human, they were not going to act blindly without thinking.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
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Fqbc iloalcu tlr tfjv, tf kjr wfa klat qfbqif rajcvlcu lcrlvf atf gbbw.
“All of you…”
Before he could utter another word, his head slanted, and he collapsed to the ground softly.
Shen Dongqing withdrew his hand: “It turns out he was human.” His hand moved a little too fast.
The other players: ……
The individual collapsed on the ground was a refined and cultured young man.
He laid there for some time.
When he eventually came to, he slowly opened his eyes and then he saw a group of people surrounding him.
He appeared quite small and helpless.
The young man’s reaction was exceedingly swift: “The company doesn’t have any money, you can take away whatever you want, don’t hit me, please don’t hit me!”
Zhou Wenyan stepped out: “We’re here to apply for the advertised position.”
The Youngster looked at Zhou Wenyan doubtfully.
Applying for the advertised position He was more inclined to believe that they were here to rob; his neck was still hurting, alright
The players revealed amiable smiles one by one.
Split between believing and disbelieving, the Youngster climbed to his feet, rubbing his neck as he walked towards the office table.
“You can fill out your curriculum vitae first then.”
Zhou Wenyan took the empty curriculum vitae and gave it a rough skim through, noting that it consisted of some common questions.
Since he was not in a rush to fill it up, he asked: “Do you have any staff members by the surname of Chen here”
The Youngster stilled.
Is there an issue”
Zhou Wenyan took out a name card and placed it on the table.
The Youngster picked it up to look at it.
“That’s right, it’s me.”
He pointed at the name card box placed on the table.
The name cards inside the box all had the line “Life Science Research Company Marketing Director Mr.
Chen” printed on it.
The name cards that the players obtained were one and the same.
Finally, they found a breakthrough.
The Youngster urged, “Fill up your curriculum vitae as soon as possible, I’m getting off work soon.”
Zhou Wenyan retrieved a pen and started writing his name down on the curriculum vitae.
Once the Youngster saw it, he mumbled, “Why does that look so familiar”
He switched on his computer and opened a folder.
His keyboard clacked audibly as he typed, and then he poked his head out from behind the computer screen.
He said: “You’ve applied for this position prior to this.
Wu Jia followed closely, and he reported his name out loud.
The Youngster: “You’ve applied before too.”
By the time he checked Shen Dongqing and the Short-haired Woman’s name, the Youngster rolled his eyes: “Are all of you trying to play with me Each and every one of you are already volunteers under the company, why are you applying again”
Wu Jia: “When did that happen”
The Youngster pointed at the name card.
“All of you must have called this telephone number in the past; it happened when you made the call.
I send these name cards to other cities frequently; as long as someone calls the number, they can come here.”
The player automatically changed the key phrases.
These name cards were copy tokens, and the Youngster sent them out.
As long as the player called the listed telephone number, they will come into contact with the person in-charge of the copy token, thereby entering this game premise.
Wu Jia thought back about it, it was true that they had already dialled the telephone number listed on the name card before they entered the game.
What had the person said during the call back then
The players tried their hardest to remember.
They had originally forgotten about this matter, but now that the Youngster had brought it up, the haze that was clouding their memories dispersed instantaneously and it became crystal clear.
“Greetings, Life Science Research Company, how may I help you”
“Are you calling to apply for the advertised position You can only enter our company through the advertised positions.”
“What positions are we advertising for Uh… What is your education history Your highest is only at the undergraduate level You can only apply for the volunteer position then, you can register your name, but reneging is not allowed.”
Zhou Wenyan: “What are volunteers supposed to do”
The Youngster replied in a hesitant manner: “Cooperate with the company for some tests.
Rest assured, a generous salary is guaranteed, with millions in annual salary.”
The players thought about those people lying inside the nutritional cabins.
What was the point of having a generous salary They were already gone; they did not have a chance to use it!
The Youngster: “All of you have taken up the job, why don’t you know anything”
Shen Dongqing failed to catch the important point once more.
“Where’s our pay then”
The Youngster: “I’m only responsible for recruiting people, no one has ever asked me for their pay…”
The people he recruited failed to walk out of the base, how could they possibly ask for the pay
Zhou Wenyan dragged the conversation back to the main topic.
“We would like to resign.”
The Youngster: “Our company doesn’t have a precedent for resignation, it’s very difficult for me to handle this…”
Shen Dongqing muttered to him: “You’re not paying us and yet you won’t let us resign, what you’re doing is illegal.”
The Youngster went quiet.
It seemed like it was not wrong to phrase it that way, but who would try to speak reason to the NPCs inside the game
This was way too strange.
Shen Dongqing: “Therefore, it’s quite normal if we don’t want to work anymore.”
When he saw Shen Dongqing raising his clenched fist, he felt a wave of pain shoot through his neck, and he could no longer find it within himself to say “but”.
“Fine, fine, I’ll help you with the resignation formalities.
But it still requires the official reply from the base, it’s none of my business if it isn’t officially approved.” The Youngster looked for a resignation letter template online with due haste and printed it out, then he distributed it to all of them.
The entire group of players signed their own names at the end of the resignation letter.
Once they were done signing, Wu Jia’s lips twitched a little as he muttered inaudibly: “But all the NPCs at the base are dead…”
How were they supposed to obtain an official reply
The Youngster, who was completely unaware of the massacre that had just occurred in the base, uploaded the resignation letter into the system.
“Now we wait.”
Not long after the Youngster spoke, he saw the base approving of the resignation requests.
He was in slight disbelief as he said: “It actually went through”
The players also found it rather strange, but then they remembered, although all of the NPCs in the base have already belched, there was still a ghost that had been conferred temporary control over the base.
It could not be more eager to have this group of demons leave earlier; once it saw the resignation requests, it did not even think about it before it accepted them.
“Okay, I’ll help all of you finalise it.”
The Youngster took out the official seal and stamped it on the resignation letters.
A bright red stamp appeared on the surface.
After the official seal landed, the players inside the office heard a voice.
【 You have resigned from Life Science Research Company 】
【 Congratulations, you have successfully cleared the copy, Closing in Progress— 】
【 With a score of S in this instance, you are rewarded with 5000 points, special item drop [Broken Key Fragment*2] 】
【 Because a large portion of the talents in the Life Science Research Company has been lost, it will be temporarily closed while it recruits new employees again 】
【 Players please devote all your attention to waiting, once the company is reorganised and opens again, it will be demoted into an A-level or B-level game copy 】
Despite leaving the game premise, Wu Jia was still stuck in a slight trance.
“It ended just like that”
Zhou Wenyan returned a question: “Do you want to go in again and play for another two rounds”
Wu Jia waved his hands quickly, “Forget it, forget it.” Suppressing his voice, he mumbled.
“That was way too simple, it didn’t seem like a S-level copy at all.”
The game was on the verge of tears after hearing Wu Jia’s words.
This wasn’t difficult
The difficulty of Life Science Research Company was slightly below average among the S-level copies, but all of the players that entered had fallen headfirst.
The majority of the players failed to get out of the fabricated world because they had been through so many games while being constantly on edge, which led to their mental states deteriorating, and when they were suddenly met with this peaceful and tranquil environment, most of them became unwilling to wake up, since they would rather indulge and wallow in this fabricated world.
This was especially so for players who wanted to persevere and clear the stage, since they had to deal with countless and ceaseless waves of ghosts, while the players who gave up could experience absolute safety.
When the two sides were compared, more people would rather choose to give up.
Only a select few of the players would wake up from the fabricated world, but they had to face all the ghosts in the base afterwards.
Even if they managed to reach the White Coat, White Coat could also unleash the “strongest weapon”, to say nothing of the fact that he had a great quantity of drugs that could improve their strength, which was more than enough to annihilate the players.
But therein lies the coincidence.
The White Coat discovered Shen Dongqing and promptly decided to make him a new and original test product, which led to him using all the precious drugs on his person.
In the end, Shen Dongqing turned on them and crushed all the ghosts like a roller, and even their “strong weapon” could not hold up against him for three seconds.
This was the reason why the game difficulty was lowered endlessly.
After making sense of these crucial details, Wu Jia sighed with emotion, “I still lied down and won in the end.”
Shen Dongqing made a surprised noise: “Ah!”
After attracting the other players’ attention, he grinned sheepishly, “My horns are gone.”
Upon leaving the copy, the oddities on his body had disappeared; the protruding ghost horns had shrunk back, the ghost patterns on his face were concealed under his skin, and he had turned back into his typical appearance of a fair and clean young man.
Taking a small mirror, Shen Dongqing looked left and right.
“I still like this appearance more.” He looked like a human.
Zhou Wenyan chuckled lowly, “I like you regardless of your appearance.”
Shen Dongqing put down the mirror with an audible thud as he made a grimace at him.
He said in an inarticulate manner: “I’m very scary—”
Zhou Wenyan hauled him over immediately and started to pinch his face.
Shen Dongqing: “Wuu…”
By the time Zhou Wenyan retracted his hands, only a faint red hue remained on his cheeks.
It was unknown when Wu Jia left to avoid this scene that could make a single person’s heart chill.
Hence, they were the only ones remaining in the large hall.
After messing around for a period of time, Shen Dongqing fished out the rewards from this game copy.
There were two broken key fragments.
“It’s way too petty!” He complained.
Zhou Wenyan kissed his forehead in consolation before he brought up another matter: “Since we already know the whereabouts of the Ghost City, should we wait for the Ghost City to open, or should we enter the game copies to play a round or two”
Slanting his head, Shen Dongqing leaned against Zhou Wenyan’s shoulder as his legs started to move restlessly.
Carelessly, he replied: “I have a premonition that, when the Ghost City opens, we can get in no matter where we are, so we might as well play some!”
Zhou Wenyan had no opinions.
Pressing down Shen Dongqing’s errant hands, he said at length, “Sure, let’s do some proper business first.”
Immediately after, he bent his waist and carried Shen Dongqing, walking towards the bedroom at a steady pace.
Initially, Zhou Wenyan was planning to do some proper business, and then use the black leather notebook again to randomly draw a game token.
However, before he could reach the bedroom entrance, he heard the game’s voice sound out.
【 A BUG has appeared in a B-level copy, the copy has already started, intervention is not allowed 】
【 May the players Zhou Wenyan and Shen Dongqing head towards the B-level copy to eliminate the BUG 】
When the last word landed, the pair disappeared from where they originally stood.
* * *
This was an emergency transfer.
Owing to the game’s principle of impartiality, the game system was not allowed to intervene once the game started, which meant that if a game malfunction occurred in the game, it could only allow other players to enter and eliminate the BUG.
Back then, Zhou Wenyan managed to meet Shen Dongqing again precisely because of a game malfunction.
However… that was created by a person.
“Who are you guys”
“Why did you suddenly appear here”
Amidst the group of players, two people suddenly appeared from thin air.
Their postures were particularly strange too; one of them was huddled in the other person’s embrace.
Shen Dongqing jumped down from Zhou Wenyan’s arms, landing on the ground.
With a confused expression, he asked: “Where is this”
Zhou Wenyan smoothed out his wrinkled shirt corners, saying: “A B-level copy.
Which copy is this”
The pair’s manner of appearance was far too strange, which aroused the suspicion of the other players.
They exchanged glances with each other before a female with greater courage stood forward.
“Who are you guys”
Zhou Wenyan lowered his eyelids as he said indolently, “Players, we’re here to put this terrible mess in order.”
The girl who previously spoke was wearing a chequered skirt, and she had never encountered such a situation.
However, when she perceived Zhou Wenyan’s general disgruntlement, she told him about the game copy’s situation, still suspended between believing and disbelieving.
The game copy’s name was Time Train, it was a B-level Copy.
Although Zhou Wenyan and Shen Dongqing could treat it like an actual game, this copy could want the other players’ lives if they were the slightest bit inattentive.
The copy’s perimeters were restricted to this train.
The introduction was also very simple, and it asked them to alight the train at the right stop.
Chequered Skirt said: “But we’ve been waiting for more than an hour, and this train hasn’t stopped once.”
Zhou Wenyan: “A malfunction occurred.”
The other players maintained their doubts: “Malfunctions can occur in this game”
Shen Dongqing nodded: “It’s not professional at all.
It dragged us in here for a repair, and yet there’s no pay , it’s too black-hearted.”
The other players stiffened.
This… Why did it feel like there was something wrong with what he was complaining about
Zhou Wenyan posed another question soon after.
“Where is the train’s main control room”
Chequered Skirt: “… We have never been there.”
The players had stayed in this train carriage the entire time, because no matter what happened, it was safe here.
They were not in a rush to leave either, since they had to wait for the train to stop.
They did not expect that the train would continue to travel for more than an hour, and it would be nonstop.
While the Chequered Skirt did open the other train carriage doors, she could not shake off the feeling that the other train carriages were strange, so she retreated.
Zhou Wenyan was not very interested in other players either.
When all was said and done, they were not here to guide the amateurish chickens, but to eliminate the game malfunction.
Hence, he just ignored them and directly pulled open the door that connected the train carriages.
“Hold on!” One of male players wearing a panel cap said, “If you were chosen by the game to eliminate the malfunction, you must be amazing players, can you bring us along”
Zhou Wenyan: “No way.”
The smile on Panel Cap’s face became sluggish.
If it were under normal circumstances, Zhou Wenyan would casually bring them along, but he was randomly interrupted by the game just as he was planning to do some proper business, so his mood was not in the best place.
As a natural consequence, he was not here to be some kind of Holy Mother.
Too lazy to explain, Zhou Wenyan pulled Shen Dongqing’s hand and walked out.
Panel Cap’s lowered voice travelled over from behind them.
“What kind of pretentious pricks are they trying to be And they’re saying that they are here to resolve the malfunction They’re probably bull**ting and lying, pei— dead homos.”
Twisting his head back, Shen Dongqing asked with sincerity, “What does that mean”
Panel Cap did not expect that they could hear him, and he floundered, saying: “Both of you were hugging each other, aren’t you, aren’t you…” In the end, he did not dare to say the last two words in front of them.
Shen Dongqing issued an “oh” calmly before he corrected him: “Even then, we’re not dead homos, we’re alive.
It should be live homos.”
He was very sensitive to the words “dead” and “alive”, if someone spoke incorrectly, he had to correct them.
The other players: “……”
Panel Cap was originally under the assumption that they were turning back to settle the scores with him, but he did not expect that they would be so easy to speak to.
Furthermore, since he had blurted out those words in a fit of emotions, he surrendered very quickly.
He laughed dryly, “Yeah, yeah…”
During this brief delay, Chequered Skirt realised something so she stepped forward to say: “Can I follow you guys”
Shen Dongqing: “Why not The path is so wide—” He even raised his hands to gesture at its size.
Once Chequered Skirt received the nod of approval, she followed in their footsteps immediately.
When the other players saw her actions, they followed suit.
Only the Panel Cap hesitated for a moment, but he still kept pace with them in the end.
And just like that, Zhou Wenyan and Shen Dongqing had a group of tails following them.
The railway train was travelling along the tracks at lightning speed, and it was probably inside a tunnel because it was pitch-black outside and they could not see a single thing.
Since this was the first time Shen Dongqing had seen this type of transportation vehicle, he found it quite interesting and he was looking around.
“What is this” Shen Dongqing pulled out a piece of newspaper from behind a seat.
A few words were scrawled on the old newspaper— GET OFF THE TRAIN NOW!
The words were written in dark red, like it was left behind after the bloodstains had dried.
Shen Dongqing glanced at the tightly sealed train doors: “It’s not like we can get off now.” He threw away the newspaper casually.
The newspaper floated gently before it landed on the chair.
There seemed to be something cowering underneath.
Shen Dongqing knelt down and looked inside, meeting a pair of dead white eyes.
There was a woman cowering under the chair.
Judging from her outfit, she was probably a train attendant.
Countless slashes from a knife ran down her face, and only her eyes could be seen clearly.
Shen Dongqing stared back at her silently for a few moments.
From the woman’s eyes, he seemed to perceive the questions she was asking: Why aren’t you running Why aren’t you afraid yet
Shen Dongqing raised his head: “There’s an attendant here, hey! We can ask her where the main control room is!”
The players following behind them asked hurriedly, “Where”
Without giving a pause, Shen Dongqing stretched his hand under the chair and pulled the attendant out directly.
The players stared at him closely, wanting to find an attendant to ask about the circumstances surrounding this railway train.
In the end… Yes, there was an attendant, but she was already dead.
It was apparent that they would be getting nothing out of her.
Fortunately, the players on the scene had already experienced a few games and they were not scared to the point where they fled in disarray.
Rather, their bodies only stiffened involuntarily as a chill ran down their spines.
Chequered Skirt’s voice was trembling slightly.
It’s not like we can gain any answers from her ah.