Ch57 - Starving
(The severed finger in the rabbit’s stomach)
Edited by Silver Wind
【 Please conduct an identification during dinner time everyday 】
【 Identifying the ‘deceased’ is equivalent to an immediate clearance, if the wrong choice is made, the game cannot guarantee that the deceased will not act drastically 】
Once the game’s voice concluded, everything was silent.
The three NPCs seemed unaware of the game’s broadcasted message as they took care of the players enthusiastically.
“The soup is done,” Lisa said.
“Come and drink some soup to warm your bodies.”
Gusts of frigid winds blew past.
There was nothing blocking the wind here which allowed the snow to flutter onto their faces, and it was undoubtedly true that the players were a little cold and they were unlikely to reject a bowl of steaming hot soup.
Braided Pigtails was the first to receive the small bowl and it warmed up her freezing cold hands in a short while.
She lowered her head and took a sip before she asked: “What kind of soup is this”
The taste had an unspeakable strangeness, it was a little raw and it brought a bitter tang.
Lisa said smilingly, “It’s made from beef jerky, we don’t have any seasoning so the taste isn’t very good.”
In a world of snow and ice, they could not ask for too much.
Braided Pigtails drank another mouthful: “It’s quite tasty.”
Everyone was distributed a bowl of soup.
Shen Dongqing lifted the small bowl closer to take a whiff and he mumbled: “It smells so strange.”
Zhou Wenyan placed down his bowl: “Don’t drink it then.”
Shen Dongqing nodded his head, turning back to retrieve his suitcase that was filled to the brim with snacks.
He tore open a bag of cotton candy and placed some into his mouth.
The sweet taste suffused through his entire mouth, dispelling some of the chill he felt.
The weather was truly too cold; in just an hour’s work, the soup’s surface coagulated and produced a thin layer of fat and the foul smell became more distinct.
Their behaviour was not particularly eye-catching among the players because there were a portion of them who did not believe the NPCs and did not drink the soup they prepared.
Whereas the NPCs drank until they were glowing with health, and they scarcely noticed the fact that some of the people present did not consume the soup.
Lisa wiped her mouth and placed down her empty bowl, saying: “It looks like we still have to stay here and wait for the rescue team, why don’t we get to know each other first”
The NPCs took the lead in giving their self-introductions.
They knew each other and they were going on a camping trip together which was why they brought along some goods and materials for survival on their bodies.
However, they were afraid that it would be difficult to hold on until the rescue team arrived just by relying on these resources alone.
The players naturally introduced the identities that the game had arranged for them.
Braided Pigtails said: “I’m going to school to report in and I only brought my letter of admission and some basic necessities.”
There were two ways to enter a copy.
The first was based on the game’s arrangement where the player would be forced into a game once every period of time.
These players were clueless about the contents of the copy and they would end up preparing nothing useful; Braided Pigtails was an example of that; the second way was to enter the copy with a token, and the token would usually divulge some details about the copy to the user.
Apart from Braided Pigtails, the other players were more or less aware of some possible circumstances in the copies and they had all prepared gear that could fend off the cold, ensuring that they would not freeze to death in a snowy landscape.
A potbellied middle-aged man rotated his gold ornamental thumb ring as he chortled, “I’m a businessman and I didn’t prepare anything either.”
The next in turn was a lady with exquisite facial features that conformed to the standards of what an Internet Celebrity would have.
She gave a simple introduction: “Eighteenth line celebrity, I was sitting on the airplane to rush for a commercial shoot.”
Last in the circle was a bespectacled young man with a refined appearance.
“I’m a Doctor travelling to attend a seminar.”
Lisa said with pleasant surprise, “That’s great, we actually have a Doctor in our midst, we don’t have to worry too much then.”
The Doctor’s smile stiffened: “I’m only a small Doctor who only knows how to do simple bandaging, I don’t know the rest…”
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.
This was an identity the game issued to him, how would he know medical skills
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The fire gradually became weaker, causing Lisa to rub her hands: “Let’s find a place to avoid the wind to settle into first before we speak of this.”
The Businessman smiled with crinkled eyes as he said: “Since the three of you are fond of camping, you must naturally know more than us.
Why don’t you go and find a place to avoid the wind first We’ll go back to the airplane and search if there’s something we can use.”
The NPCs did not think too much about his suggestion before they agreed.
Hence, the nine people were split into two groups with the players returning back to the plane cabin again.
Shen Dongqing and Zhou Wenyan followed the flow and trailed after the player group.
It was unknown how the plane crashed in a way that would cause it to split in the middle, leaving only the smaller half on the ground.
It could neither block the wind nor provide cover from the rain, and the most awkward was that the half that disappeared was where the baggage was placed.
The players did not expect that the game would have such an upsetting operation either, and they only had the items they had brought on their person.
After doing a thorough search, the players did not manage to find any useful items and they could only bring their personal effects and gather back on the snowy ground again.
The Businessman lowered his voice, “I feel like those three NPCs are very odd, the soup they gave us… I didn’t drink it, it smells too strange.”
Presently, only Braided Pigtails drank that soup.
Braided Pigtails hesitated for a moment before she said: “I feel like it’s just beef jerky soup, and it’s merely the issue of poor cooking.”
The Businessman’s smile became rather queer: “It’s what you think it is then.”
Braided Pigtails received a scare from that and she no longer dared to speak.
Businessman: “I think that the deceased is probably one of the NPCs.
After all, we were all sleeping when the plane crashed, and we only woke up after the aviation accident had happened.
As he said, someone walked closer from afar.
Borg said: “We found a place to avoid the wind.”
Businessman stopped his analysis and suppressed his voice: “It would be best if we all kept our guards up.”
Immediately after, he changed into a smiling face and walked up to Borg, “That’s amazing, let’s go there quickly.”
Zhou Wenyan brushed off the snow that landed on Shen Dongqing and hauled up his small suitcase.
The pair trailed after them.
The Internet Celebrity who was a step behind them stared at their backs.
The Doctor remarked vaguely, “All of us woke up around the same time, but the two of them…”
Shen Dongqing and Zhou Wenyan were already on the snow-covered ground by then which casted suspicions on them.
The Internet Celebrity thought the same and the two of them exchanged a meaningful look and formed a temporary alliance to stare tightly at all the possible suspects.
The NPCs managed to find a place that was out of the wind not far away.
Lisa had lit up a bonfire and she gestured for everyone to come over to warm their bodies.
The players sat down one by one.
The Businessman might actually be a person who knew the ways of engaging in trade in reality because the conversational skills he had ensured that he was on brotherly terms with Borg in the span of a walk alone.
“When the plane crash landed, I was still asleep.
The attendant also said that there would be a small jolt but I did not expect that after a bang, the plane would drop.” The Businessman said casually, “Did you feel anything”
Borg smiled: “We were the same, it’s just that we woke up earlier and we came down with the attendants first.”
Businessman asked: “Where are the attendants”
Borg did not conceal it and narrated the situation systemically and in full detail.
“The attendants said that the satellite phone did not have a signal and they needed to go out to call the rescue team.
Immediately after, they really went to find a place with a signal.
I hope they can come back sooner, or else we won’t have enough food to eat.”
Maybe because they were freezing, the other people started feeling hungry once he said that.
Lisa picked up the pot: “We merely had a small bowl of soup just now, it’s definitely not enough to stave off hunger, I’ll go and cook more.”
And just like before, the soup that Lisa cooked smelled odd.
The players did not dare to drink it.
Instead, they suggested going out to search for something to eat.
With the vapour that was rising in front of her, Lisa’s face looked a little distorted.
“You don’t like the soup I made”
The atmosphere became peculiar in an instant.
The Businessman swallowed his saliva and said with much difficulty.
After a short moment of silence, Borg and Leo laughed out loud, “Lisa, your craftsmanship was disdained again.”
Lisa snorted, “You guys are really picky, don’t drink my soup then.”
Heaving a sigh of relief, the Businessman explained, “It just looks like the food isn’t enough so we wanted to go out and see if there was anything else to eat.”
A grin spread across Lisa’s visage.
“Hey, I was just kidding, you can go.”
The players left the mountain cave again.
Braided Pigtails pressed her hand on her stomach and said: “Why do I feel so hungry”
Wiping off the cold sweat on his forehead, the Businessman said: “Let’s find something to eat without wasting more time.
Either way, I don’t dare to eat the NPC’s stuff.”
The other players agreed with his opinion as well.
However, it was white and empty wherever they looked, how could there be something edible
But they had no choice; if they did not find something, they would be reduced to drinking the NPCs’ soup.
Furthermore, it had to be said that the players were not a monolithic bloc, especially when the game said that the “deceased” could be a NPC or a player, which meant that everyone was a suspect.
In the end, the six players were split into pairs and they went their separate ways to search for food.
Shen Dongqing trod on the snowy ground with alternating heavy and light steps, leaving footprints wherever he walked.
Compared to the furrowed brows and bitter faces that the other players had, he was quite fond of the snow and he grabbed a handful of it to play with until his hands became red from the cold.
He moulded a small white rabbit and raised it for Zhou Wenyan to see.
Zhou Wenyan asked: “You want to eat rabbits”
Shen Dongqing did not understand the correlation between the two but he still nodded, “I want to!”
In what was a blink of an eye, Shen Dongqing saw a figure flash across his side to arrive at the side of a deadwood before he caught a snow rabbit that was hiding in the snow.
The entire body of the rabbit was snowy white and downy, but before it could react to what was happening, the decider of its fate had clutched its neck.
Shen Dongqing tossed his fake rabbit away immediately and started to rub his palm along the real snow rabbit.
“It’s really cute.”
Zhou Wenyan: “Raise it and play with it then.”
Shen Dongqing rejected the suggestion, “No, I still want to eat rabbits.”
The rabbit was so cute, of course he had to eat it.
The snow rabbit was particularly meek too.
Shen Dongqing caressed the rabbit as he asked simultaneously, “Is there really a dead person” He paused momentarily, “But I didn’t feel the breath of death on anyone.”
Generally speaking, dead people were different from the living; even if they looked like the living, their bodies would still smell of the dead and it could never get past Shen Dongqing’s nose.
However, after inspecting everyone, he noted that all of them were normal and he could not figure it out.
Zhou Wenyan stretched out a hand to smooth out the wrinkles between the space of his eyebrows.
“It’s fine if you can’t figure it out, we make one guess every day; even if we ‘re blind, we can still chance upon it.”
Shen Dongqing felt that his words were exceedingly reasonable and he settled the uncertainty in his heart and brought the rabbit back with him happily.
The other players did not manage to find food to eat and they were standing at the cave’s entrance awkwardly.
They did not know why but it seemed like their resistances depleted faster in a snowy world and everyone could feel the pain that originated from their stomachs churning and burning, especially Braided Pigtails whose eyes have gone green and she was starting to find Lisa’s soup fragrant in smell.
Braided Pigtails’ metaphorical broken jar toppled and broke further.
“I’ve already drank a bowl anyway, drinking another bowl won’t hurt.”
She went in and directly drank the soup.
Meanwhile, Internet Celebrity held onto her stomach.
Typically, she would go through a period of fasting to maintain her figure, but she had never experienced a hunger so intense it was making her agitated.
The Businessman need not be mentioned; it was obvious from his belly alone that he could not endure being hungry.
Just as they were about to fold and drink the soup, Shen Dongqing came back with his rabbit in hand.
Shen Dongqing had just sat down stably when he was met with three pairs of green eyes.
He stilled for a moment before he raised his rabbit and asked: “Who knows how to clean a rabbit”
The Doctor hurriedly said: “I do.”
When he took the rabbit from Shen Dongqing, he was short of snatching it.
Then, he went in to borrow some tools from the NPC before he went to the side to deal with the rabbit.
Whereas the Businessman picked up some firewood and started a fire with Internet Celebrity as they waited for the Doctor to come back after cleaning the rabbit.
Shen Dongqing sat on the stone and opened his suitcase to rifle through it.
He remembered he brought some fruit pudding before he left the house, why could he not find it now
Since there was no fruit pudding, he could only settle for the next best thing.
Thus, he took out a bag of potato chips and snacked on it, attracting the attention of the other players with the crisp noises he was issuing.
Noticing their gazes, Shen Dongqing put the potato chip in his mouth and shifted away slowly to evade their other players’ eyes.
His snacks and reserve grain could not be shared with other people! Only his reserve grain was allowed to eat his snacks!
Shen Dongqing pinched a potato chip and offered it to Zhou Wenyan, who bowed his head and bit down on it.
With one feeding and the other eating, the pair ate with relish.
The Businessman swallowed his saliva and consoled himself: “It’s fine, you’ll get to eat a roasted rabbit soon…”
The Internet Celebrity, however, could no longer stand the wait: “Why isn’t he back yet”
Businessman: “He’ll be back soon, if he takes any longer, we’ll go and check it out then.”
The Doctor brought the snow rabbit to the corner and used the tools he had to cut open the rabbit’s soft belly, and the flow of blood dyed the snow-covered ground in a short while.
Even though his hands were stained with blood, he could care less about these, but as he was preparing to get rid of the snow rabbit’s fur and internal organs, he suddenly saw something fall out from the rabbit’s stomach.
In response, he lowered his head to look and it was a stiff finger.
Had it been under normal circumstances, the Doctor would have hesitated a little, but now that he was going insane with hunger, he promptly decided to close one eye about the particular detail.
With one leg, he kicked away the finger and pretended he did not see it.
The finger rolled away, and it almost fell into a crack.
The Doctor gave it another glance only to realise that the finger was wearing a gold ornamental ring that was glittering in the sunlight.
Despite his shock, he picked up the finger and buried it in an obvious place.
Then, he composed himself and walked back with the cleaned rabbit.
Upon seeing him, Internet Celebrity complained: “You’re finally back.”
Businessman stated, “I’ll do it.” He stretched his hand out to receive the dead and miserable-looking rabbit.
But the Doctor stood there, unmoving.
He could see the large golden ring on the Businessman’s hand, he could see how it glittered under the sunlight.
He could not help but shudder.
On his end, the Businessman did not notice the Doctor’s oddities as he took the rabbit and placed it over the fire to roast it.
The flames leapt.
The oil from the rabbit’s fats melted and dripped down, producing an alluring fragrance.
Even though there were no seasonings and the craftsmanship was average at best, the Businessman and Internet Celebrity ate with gusto due to their starving conditions.
Instead, it was the Doctor who was preoccupied and he would toss occasional glances at the Businessman.
As the Businessman picked at the oil on his fingers, he felt the Doctor’s gaze and it caused some dissatisfaction rise within him.
“What are you looking at”
Hearing that, the Doctor lowered his head hastily before he ripped off a piece of rabbit meat and stuffed it into his mouth.