Ch82 - Enclosure
(Thinking Too Much)
After the group left the school premises, they stood at the main entrance of the school to discuss their next course of action.
The Short-haired Woman stood out first to control the situation: “We should split up first and investigate how big the parameters of this city are.”
The Bespectacled Lady did not have strong capabilities, so she could only comply with the Short-haired Woman.
Nodding her head, she said weakly, “I agree as well…”
Wu Jia stroked his jaw and said: “It makes sense.”
Zhou Wenyan did not express any contradicting opinions, “We’ll take the left.”
Short-haired Woman: “We’ll take the right then.”
The effectiveness of the group was very high; they did not utter a single word of nonsense before they went their separate ways.
The road outside of the school was a food street, its horizontal path cutting across north and south.
Stalls set up by various vendors lined the streets and they were bustling with noise and excitement as they conducted their business.
Since classes had ended, the students held various kinds of food in their hands as they ambled along the street.
In the midst of the human traffic, Zhou Wenyan held onto Shen Dongqing’s hand tightly.
Walking shoulder-to-shoulder, the pair were integrated into the lively crowd.
The vendors were shouting, the students were chatting amongst themselves, and fragrance was being emitted as the food was being cooked and roasted.
Everything was normal and it nearly made them forget that they were inside a copy.
Shen Dongqing bought two grilled squid skewers before he offered one to Zhou Wenyan.
The pair ate their food as they slowly walked out of the lively and small food street.
Zhou Wenyan raised a hand to flag down a taxi.
The driver of the taxi was an uncle with a stubble beard, and he shot them a straightforward and good-natured smile as he asked: “Where to”
Zhou Wenyan opened the car door, allowing Shen Dongqing to enter first before he slid in.
“Keep driving outwards.”
Fortunately, the driver uncle had already experienced various aspects of society and he had met all kinds of travellers.
Once he heard their request, he did not hesitate, stepping on the accelerator directly to start driving outwards.
As he was driving, the driver uncle could not restrain the urge to strike up a conversation..
“Recently, business hasn’t been very prosperous, and there’s nothing that seems worth doing…
“There aren’t a lot of people who take the taxi now, and I don’t know why that is.
“Are both of you students Are you going out for a date, haha….
I’ve seen my fair share, it doesn’t really matter.”
The driver uncle was a good talker and it seemed like he did not have any intention to stop.
He bragged that there was not a single place in this city that he had not been to, and he was cognizant of the places that they might want to go.
Shen Dongqing thought about it before he asked: “Uncle, do you know anything about the Life Science Research Company”
From the rear-view mirror, they could not perceive any peculiarities on the driver uncle’s countenance as he maintained his grin and said: “What research company We have quite a few companies here, I’m not very clear about them either.”
But after that question was asked, it was evident that the driver uncle became quieter.
The taxi sped along the road.
Initially, there were still some vehicles beside them, but as the journey wore on, it became incomparably bleak and desolate.
The driver uncle stepped on the brakes slightly to slow down the speed.
He asked the travellers behind him: “Do you want to continue going forward We’ll be leaving the city limits soon if we keep going forward.”
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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Patting on his shoulder, Zhou Wenyan held Shen Dongqing and helped him change into a more comfortable position.
Shen Dongqing nuzzled him before he closed his eyes and fell asleep.
Twenty more minutes into the drive, their surroundings became devoid of human habitation, and only wild and boorish weeds and several abandoned log cabins could be seen.
The driver uncle stepped on the throttle: “The road in front is under construction, I can’t drive forward.”
Zhou Wenyan peeked his head out of the window to have a look.
In front of the car, a signboard that read “Under Construction” was placed there, directly blocking the main road, which meant that the car could not drive over at all.
The driver uncle scratched the beard on his lower jaw, “Where are both of you going exactly Do you want me to take another road”
Zhou Wenyan nodded his head: “We’ll be troubling you, shifu.”
Hence, the driver shifted gears to make the car reverse and back out of the dead end.
Then, he continued driving down another road, but they were met with another “Under Construction” sign board again halfway through.
The driver uncle mumbled: “That’s strange, why are all the roads under construction”
Zhou Wenyan asked: “Has shifu ever been here prior to this”
A vestige of vacancy flashed past the driver uncle’s eyes before he proceeded to shake his head.
He said in a frank tone: “Unlike the both of you, no one has the time on their hands to randomly run out into the desolate wilderness outside of the city.”
Zhou Wenyan: “Please wait here for us, shifu, we’ll be going over to take a look.”
The driver uncle: “Sure, come back soon.”
Lowering his head, Zhou Wenyan called Shen Dongqing’s name softly.
Not fully awake, Shen Dongqing rubbed his eyes as he was brought off the car by his hand, and he was akin to a sloth as he hung on Zhou Wenyan’s body and yawned.
For some unknown reason, he found it slightly difficult to muster his energy.
Zhou Wenyan took a few steps forward.
He could clearly discern the road in front of him and yet he was confronted with a formless obstruction.
He stretched his hand out to probe, and after groping aimlessly for some time, he made contact with a transparent barrier.
Meanwhile, Shen Dongqing was still muddled and ignorant.
Having failed to notice that Zhou Wenyan had come to stop, he lumbered forward by himself, colliding into the barrier before he could guard against it, and his forehead took the brunt of the impact.
He cried out in alarm, covering his forehead.
Zhou Wenyan pulled him back helplessly and blew some air on his faintly red forehead.
Shen Dongqing puffed out his cheeks, “What was that”
He was rather angry and he wanted to smash the barrier in front of him, but no matter how much strength he exerted, it was like he was punching cotton and it did not see the slightest use.
As Shen Dongqing punched it, ripples appeared on the transparent barrier, spreading across every direction.
However, it only lasted for an instant before it reverted back to its original appearance in an instant.
The barrier seemed to be a dome in shape, encompassing the entire city within it.
It was like… an enclosure.
Shen Dongqing jabbed the barrier: “We can’t go out”
Zhou Wenyan: “That seems to be the case right now.”
Shen Dongqing leaned forward, pressing his face on the barrier tightly.
Zhou Wenyan laughed, “What are you doing”
Shen Dongqing said in a vague manner: “Trying to see if there’s something outside.”
Zhou Wenyan: “Do you see anything”
Shen Dongqing straightened his back and said with palpable disappointment: “I can’t see anything.”
There was no difference in the scenery behind the isolating barrier but they could not proceed forward at all.
Hence, the pair turned back, following the road they had previously used.
The driver uncle was still waiting for them there with some quietness and desolation to his expression as he stood outside his car to smoke.
But upon seeing them return, he changed to a smiling expression immediately and he even waved his hand at them.
Once the pair seated themselves in the car, the driver uncle started the car again, slowly driving back to the centre of the city.
Zhou Wenyan asked, “Has shifu ever left this city”
The driver hummed a small tune, “Why would I leave the city I’m living quite well in this place, no Making some money and being able to eat is enough; only young people like you would think about leaving, whereas staying here makes us feel at ease.”
Shen Dongqing asked: “What about the others You should have relatives and friends, right Have they ever left this place”
The driver’s movements stagnated but he returned back to normal soon after.
Everyone is a local here, who do honest work and abide by the law.”
On the road back, the driver uncle became even quieter than before.
He stopped the car at the side of the road: “We’ve arrived.”
After Zhou Wenyan paid for the ride, he got off the car with Shen Dongqing and the pair started towards the school.
As they were walking, that taxi appeared beside them again.
The driver uncle pulled down the window and the emotions swirling in his eyes were indiscernible.
He said: “If you can leave… it’s better if you don’t leave.”
Shen Dongqing watched the taxi drive away before he cocked his head and asked: “Is he a NPC”
He did not appear like one; he was too alive, so alive that he felt like a person who genuinely existed instead of being a NPC generated by the game.
Zhou Wenyan: “Maybe he’s not.”
The pair travelled back to the school and waited at the main entrance for a while.
Subsequently, the other players returned as well.
Wu Jia opened his mouth to speak the moment he returned: “It’s really too realistic, I almost believed that I had returned to the real world.”
The Short-haired Woman interrupted his words by recounting their gains: “This city isn’t big, the outer periphery has been enclosed by a transparent barrier, we can’t get out at all.”
Wu Jia supplemented, “Our range of action has been fixed to this city, was it done by the game I can’t think of anyone else who can fence us in like this apart from the game.”
Zhou Wenyan said faintly, “Try another train of thought.”
Wu Jia extended his hand, making a “please” gesture.
Zhou Wenyan: “Life Science Research Company, they’re researching life, we…” He gave a pause, “Are we also within the parameters of the research”
Once he said that, Wu Jia’s entire body went cold, “Which means to say, this is actually a test lab We’ve been made into white mice by other people”
Shen Dongqing nodded his head, “I keep getting the sense that someone is watching me.”
Wu Jia rubbed his arms, “Isn’t that too perverse What are they observing us for”
The Short-haired Woman said impatiently, “We’re players.”
Just based on this point alone, they had the qualifications to become a ‘test subject’.
Zhou Wenyan took out the signs from his pocket.
“We’re not the only ones.
The ghosts and monsters are their test subjects as well.”
A1, A2, and A3.
They were the three ghosts they had encountered, and it seemed like they had been methodologically thrown in.
Wu Jia glanced at the items in Zhou Wenyan’s hand, only to suddenly say: “I’ve seen that before”
The Short-haired Woman asked in a hurry, “Where”
“Let me think about it…” Wu Jia furrowed his eyebrows together tightly, “Right, Teacher Chen.
Before I regained my memories, Teacher Chen said that he had some materials he wanted to pass to you, and the file that I was holding just now had that picture!”
Resolutely, Zhou Wenyan stated, “Let’s look for Teacher Chen.”
The surname of “Chen” was not rare.
The liaison on the copy token name card was “Mr.
Chen”, and now that there was another “Teacher Chen”, it was hard for people not to think more.
Hence, their group dashed towards the classroom building swiftly.
After everything that had occurred altogether, the skies had already darkened completely.
The streetlights at the side of the road lit up.
Instead of shining a warm orange hue, it was a cold white light that did not possess the slightest warmth.
Wu Jia: “I keep having a bad premonition.”
Even if it was night-time, it was impossible for the school to be this quiet.
Short-haired Woman: “Restrain your crow mouth.”
Fortunately, as they approarched to the classroom building, there was a continuous stream of students coming out of the building after they were done with their evening self-study.
Some people who recognised Zhou Wenyan walked up to give him a greeting.
One of the students appeared to have a good relationship with Wu Jia, and he even stopped to ask: “Why are you back in school when it’s so late Classes have already ended.”
Wu Jia searched for an excuse, “I left something behind.”
That student did not mind, and he merely reminded him: “There is going to be a power outage at 9 o’ clock, come back quickly.”
Wu Jia checked his phone, it was already 8:30.
“It’s 8:30!” Shen Dongqing voiced his surprise.
Wu Jia’s heart tightened, “What’s wrong”
As he asked that question, the thoughts in his head spun quickly.
Anything that could agitate Shen Dongqing to this extent had to be remarkable in some way, would it be better if he ran away as soon as he could
In the end, he heard Shen Dongqing: “That explains why I’m so hungry, it turns out it’s already 8:30.”
Wu Jia: “……”
Fine, he was thinking too much.