Ch88 - Recruitment Contract
(Hello Say Something.)
Edited by Silver Wind
The White Coat forced himself to say: “Pardon”
Zhou Wenyan: “The players, and the ghosts.”
It was unknown which of the two phrases had jabbed at the White Coat, but his expression distorted slightly: “All of this happened because of all of you!”
Zhou Wenyan raised an eyebrow, “Oh”
White Coat gnashed his teeth, “If it weren’t for the likes of you appearing, our world wouldn’t have become like this!”
Originally, their world was steady and peaceful, and White Coat was an ordinary researcher.
They did not know when it started, but strange people started appearing in their world in quick succession.
They had no identity, they appeared out of nothingness, and they called themselves “players”.
Whenever the players appeared, strange incidents would always happen around them, like murder cases, a chain of car accidents, closed room murders, so on and so forth, which were incidents that could not be explained with science.
Those players would stay here for a period of time.
Those with poor luck would die immediately and become a corpse that no one would claim, but if they had good luck, they would leave after a period of time, disappearing into thin air, just like how they arrived.
The players might have left, but those unscientific things remained.
They seized the city as their territory, killing each and every original citizen who accidentally entered in a cruel manner.
The White Coat tugged on his shirt collar as he said coldly.
“We don’t know how much manpower we wasted before we managed to contain those things.”
Humans were not the opponents of ghosts.
Despite that, White Coat led a group of researchers to research a method that could trap these ghosts, and they contained them inside this base.
For the sake of ensuring that the players did not destroy the peace that they had attained after much difficulty, they put a few plans into motion, like making the players fall into deep sleep the moment they entered this world.
If they could not find a way to break through, they would never wake up.
As long as the players did not leave the base, no ghost would make its appearance outside.
White Coat looked like he had abandoned the idea of resisting.
“That’s all I know.”
Shen Dongqing clapped his hands to support the scene, before he said with some doubt: “Given all that you did, there shouldn’t be new ghosts coming into existence, but why are there so many in the base…”
Just as the last syllable landed, the surrounding dark shadows twisted like a wave, with figures extricating themselves from the main one by one, encircling the White Coat.
Those figures with indiscernible features had their heads lowered as they stretched their ashen-pale and thinly frail hands, pointing their fingers at White Coat.
White Coat’s complexion went white.
Yes, they had initially built this base to protect the original citizens, but as they deeply immersed themselves in the research and gradually gained control of the ghosts’ strength, everything started to change.
They could not reconcile with the fact that they were guarding these treasures without using them.
After a brief dispute, White Coat was pushed into the position of the base’s director, and he used the base’s capability to research even more things.
For instance, controlling this entire world.
Or perhaps, taking the initiative to invite players into this world, and conduct a few tests.
Wu Jia sighed with emotion: “That would explain why no players have ever left this game premises.”
Owing to their harmless intentions – initially, at least – it was understandable why the players would fall in headfirst.
And judging from how accustomed the White Coat was to this process, the number of players who had fallen into their hands was definitely a terrifying number.
White Coat: “Do you still have any questions”
The Short-haired Woman said in a small voice: “Ask how we can leave this game premise quickly.”
Their final goal was not destroying the base and rescuing all the players, but leaving this game premises.
When White Coat heard the Short-haired Woman’s utterance, he laughed coldly, “Not a single player has ever escaped from this place…” He gave the people present a sweeping glance, “And all of you will be no different.”
Shen Dongqing shook his head.
“Not the same.”
White Coat: “How are you any different”
Shen Dongqing clenched his fists, saying: “We can beat you up, were the others capable of it”
White Coat’s entire body stiffened, “Are you threatening me”
Shen Dongqing pushed his hands together, “I’m just stating the truth.”
White Coat became more ruffian-like, “I really don’t know how you can leave.”
The NPCs inside every game would never tell the players how they could clear the game directly; either because they were unaware, or they were being restricted by the game’s rules and regulations.
However, most players did not have the ability to threaten the NPCs to make them tell them the clearance method, the game only stipulated such rules to deal with the people who did not play the game properly.
That’s right, it was stipulated to deal with people like Shen Dongqing.
Shen Dongqing scratched his head, not knowing what to do.
He looked towards Zhou Wenyan, asking for assistance.
Instead of asking for the clearance method, he only asked an inconsequential question: “The ‘strongest weapon’ that you previously released, how did it come about”
White Coat swore he never wanted to hear the two words ‘strongest weapon’ ever again, but under Zhou Wenyan’s focused stare, he could only honestly reply: “It slipped in from another world.”
Zhou Wenyan: “Another world”
Realising that this was not a matter of great importance, White Coat spoke bluntly: “I’ve researched a lot of players, and I learnt of the fact that all of you were shuttling through various worlds ceaselessly, which are your game premises.
Our world is also a game premise, and the ghost came from another game premise.
“It appeared on the day when the base was built.”
Truth to be told, this world was supposed to be an average game premise with nothing spectacular, and it was only a C-level or D-level at the start.
However, because of White Coat heading a group of researchers towards the discovery of the world’s quintessence, their game obtained the ability to evolve, and through the absorption of players, they managed to become a S-level copy step by step.
All in all, it was quite reasonable.
When the base was completely built, the game automatically triggered an evolution, and perhaps the game lost the controlling rights over premise momentarily, which allowed a NPC from another world to escape to this place.
By the time the game’s upgrade and maintenance was completed, the game discovered this issue, and it made the best of its mistake by immediately arranging the NPC escapee as the world’s BOSS.
White Coat: “I’ve already said everything I know, let me go, will you We’re all victims of the game, there’s no need to massacre each other…”
Zhou Wenyan did not comment, only saying: “Last question.”
White Coat’s attitude could not be better.
“Please ask, please ask.”
Zhou Wenyan: “Is your surname Chen”
White Coat shook his head.
“My surname isn’t Chen.” He pointed at his own chest.
There was a name card there.
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.
Zhou Wenyan: “Is there anyone in the base that goes by the surname of Chen”
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The Short-haired Woman mumbled in her heart.
We spent such a long time questioning him, why didn’t we ask for anything useful at all
Although she hesitated momentarily, she still decided to follow in the Big Bosses’ footsteps and leave the safe room.
* * *
After that group of players left, White Coat heaved out a sigh.
It was alright, they could recruit more researchers even if this batch was gone, ghosts could be created again even if there was none left; they could take it slow….
With those thoughts in mind, White Coat turned around, wanting to move towards the controlled cleaner robot to clean up the aftermath.
However, just as he turned his body, he was met with an ashen-pale face.
The roaming spirits that were surrounding the White Coat drifted over, squeezing the safe room until it was packed to the brim.
All of them were people who had lost their lives in the middle of an experiment, consisting of players and original citizens.
They fixed their eyes and raised their chopstick-like hands, issuing cruel laughter.
After a fleeting and wretched scream, the base plunged into dead silence once again.
* * *
The square footage occupied by the base was extremely huge.
Since they had to expend a great deal of effort to get in, getting out required an equal amount of time.
The group of players turned seven corners and took eight detours, but they were not in a rush to leave.
Instead, they first went to the testing lab where the other players were residing.
Even though the staff personnel in the base had disappeared, the machine installations were still complying with their programme, operating strictly according to the protocols.
The nutritional cabins were arranged in an orderly manner, interspaced by small gaps like a row of coffins.
A single player lied in each cabin, deep in slumber.
Each nutritional cabin was linked to a display monitor that showed their heartbeat line, which indicated that the player was in good condition.
Short-haired Woman: “You can’t wake them up, I’ve tried it before.”
Compared to the cruel game, they probably preferred this fabricated world.
Wu Jia pulled open one of the covers to give it a try.
The player lying inside was a small girl.
Her complexion was rosy and a smile was hanging on her lips, as if she had encountered something joyous.
It seemed like the fabricated world was too perfect, such that she was not responding to external stimuli at all.
Wu Jia closed the cover again.
“They can’t be saved.”
The players present did not only comprise of those who had been phased out in the previous batch, but even those that preceded it.
In the game’s name list, they were already considered as “dead”.
Furthermore, even if they could wake up, it was more than likely that they would be unwilling to continue playing the game which had no end in sight.
Zhou Wenyan: “Let them stay here then.”
He walked up the control panel and pressed a series of buttons, shutting off the facilities in the base, until all the resources were fuelled towards this testing lab.
Therefore, even under the circumstances where there was no one watching over them, it would continue to function for sixty years at least.
“Sixty years, huh.” Wu Jia said, “We might not even be able to live for that long.”
The Short-haired Woman rolled her eyes.
Wu Jia did a zipping motion in front of his mouth, and it was only after a long moment that he dared to speak up again: “But we haven’t found a way to get out.”
Even if they destroyed the entire base, the game might not necessarily judge it as a clearance.
Zhou Wenyan pressed the confirm button before he turned around and said: “Let’s go outside the base and take a look.”
According to the White Coat’s words, there was a city outside of the base, and the players were supposed to be situated inside the city, but they were intercepted by the base in the process.
Hence, it was highly possible that the clues were outside.
Upon stepping off the control platform, Zhou Wenyan could not find Shen Dongqing.
He circled around the area and eventually found him squatting in the corner, fiddling with something unknown in his hands, and he looked very happy as he toyed with it.
Sensing Zhou Wenyan’s gaze, Shen Dongqing raised his head and shot him a smile as he raised the toy in his hand: “I caught this.”
It was a ball of black mass with an elongated shape.
Faintly, its human-like appearance could be perceived, and its four limbs were wrapped in chains.
It had put up a violent struggle after it was caught, but no matter what it did, it was suppressed by Shen Dongqing easily.
After two failed attempts, it could only give up, thus lowering his head and choosing not to move at all.
Wu Jia asked quizzically, “Strongest weapon”
The “strongest weapon” had nothing to live for.
Initially, it wanted to take advantage of the chaos to quietly sneak away, but it did not have the best luck, since it had bumbled back into Shen Dongqing’s hands.
Shen Dongqing pinched its foot, swaying it in mid-air as he told Zhou Wenyan: “I want to raise it.”
The black shadow was on the verge of tears.
Please don’t, Ancestor, it wants to live for a few more years.
Zhou Wenyan: “It’s too ugly.”
Why did he even want a pet Having him was enough.
Shen Dongqing lowered his head to scrutinise it.
Mn… It really was quite ugly.
He threw it on the ground arbitrarily, giving up on the pet-raising idea.
“I don’t want it then.”
The ghost shadow looked like it had been relieved of a great burden.
With its palms and feet planted on the ground, it moved across the floor tiles, wanting to stay further away from Shen Dongqing.
However, before it managed to crawl two paces away, it was stepped on again.
Zhou Wenyan lowered his head, “Which game premise did you come from”
The ghost shadow was trembling so much its words were nearly incoherent.
Zhou Wenyan: “You’re not allowed to say it”
The ghost shadow nodded its head, before it shook its head.
Shen Dongqing promptly added: “Not going to say it”
The ghost shadow looked at him, and then looked at the other person, nearly frightened into tears.
Sobbing pitifully, it said: “Can you give me some room to breathe”
Feeling strange, Shen Dongqing asked him: “Aren’t you dead You still need to breathe”
Ghost shadow: “……”
Did it have no human rights because it was a ghost
After taking a long moment to recompose itself, the ghost shadow confessed: “I came from Ghost City.”
Wasn’t this the place that Shen Dongqing previously saw
Shen Dongqing became interested once he heard his response.
He stretched his hand out to poke the ghost shadow: “How do we go to Ghost City”
Ghost shadow: “You can only enter when the Gates of Hell open, but the Gates of Hell only open once every thirty in-game days.”
The time counter inside the game was different from outside, and it was extremely messy.
You might have spent seven days inside a game copy, but only one minute would have passed outside, and it was also possible that after staying one day inside the game copy, a month had already passed outside.
Hence, the game decided to set up an in-game day.
Regardless of how the players’ time were calculated, it measured its time based on the lowest level copy.
Players would be thrown into the copy regularly at fixed intervals, and that would be equivalent to one in-game day for the NPCs there.
Since Ghost City would only open once every thirty in-game days, then it would be…
Despite using his fingers to count the days for a long time, he could not reach a conclusion, so he promptly decided to ask the ghost shadow.
“How many days are there in thirty in-game days”
The ghost shadow did not look like it possessed a high intelligence.
It asked stupidly, “How would I know”
Shen Dongqing and the ghost shadow stared at each other with wide eyes.
The ghost shadow seemed to think of something, and it said: “If it’s you, you should be able to enter the Ghost City once it arrives.
But judging from the time, it should be opening soon…”
Shen Dongqing pointed a finger at himself: “Me”
Ghost shadow nodded its head.
Shen Dongqing: “You know me”
The ghost shadow opened its mouth, wanting to answer its question, but there seemed to be a certain pressure in its dark depths stopping it, not allowing it to speak.
Although it struggled for a long while, it only managed to say: “You’ll know once you arrive in Ghost City.”
Since Shen Dongqing did not possess a grave thirst for his true identity, he waved his hand.
“You can leave.”
The ghost shadow rolled and crawled away.
Wu Jia suddenly opened his mouth: “Hold on.”
The ghost shadow’s movement ceased.
Wu Jia commented, “There are a lot of players here, this ghost… Wouldn’t it be too unsafe”
Shen Dongqing said without the slightest burden, “Let’s destroy it humanely then.”
The ghost shadow was scared to the point where its face was green.
It quickly expressed that it was very safe, and it would never eat the players in secret!
It was very sincere in its speech, stating that it was striving to be a positive and progressive ghost in this new age, it would never hurt humans! It would never eat humans!
Patting its shoulder, Shen Dongqing praised, “Very good.”
This was the first time he had met such a ghost with such high consciousness.
The ghosts he previously met were just idling their time away; since they were not studying how to properly harm humans, and they were not learning how to conduct themselves as ghosts either.
Regardless of whether they were humans or ghosts, they had to have standards!
He gave the ghost shadow an admiring look.
“You should stay here then.
If other ghosts arrive in the future, you have to teach them how to conduct themselves as ghosts well.”
Having gained a new leash of life, the ghost shadow bopped its head nonstop.
“I will definitely be a proper ghost…”
The two players at the side felt this world was slightly mystical.
How did they manage to tangent into a spew of ideology and moral character classes all of a sudden
* * *
After bidding farewell to the ghost shadow, whose eyes were brimming with hot tears, the group of players started to look for the way to leave this base.
This base was genuinely way too big, to the extent where it could be called a small world.
It was comprehensively complete with its various facilities, and a normal person could live out their entire life in the base without leaving.
After searching for half a day, they did not manage to find the exit.
In addition to the things that they previously experienced, they were unbearably tired.
Both tired and hungry, the group promptly decided to fill their stomachs before discussing their next course of action.
The base’s cafeteria was half-mechanised; even if there were no humans around to operate them, the AI would still prepare a sumptuous lunch in accordance with its computerised procedure.
While the players ate their lunch, they discussed how they were going to leave the base.
Wu Jia said: “We should have asked that White Coat.”
The Short-haired Woman: “He’s already dead, it’s too late to say that now.”
Wu Jia was surprisingly optimistic: “There’s food and water here, we won’t starve to death no matter what.
Even if that fails to sustain us, we can lie down in the nutritional cabins, and we can live for another sixty years.”
Zhou Wenyan threw a loaf of bread at him.
Wu Jia accepted the bread and started nibbling away.
“In any case, I’ve already considered the possibility of never leaving this game in this lifetime.
It hasn’t been easy to survive until this point, having some optimism is quite good.”
Shen Dongqing mumbled: “I’m quite optimistic too.”
Wu Jia could not speak.
You’re called optimistic You just tore at the BOSS and the NPCs of this game with your bare hands.
Other players were being played by the game, but when Shen Dongqing and Zhou Wenyan were together, they were actually playing the game.
They could not compare, they really could not compare.
Shen Dongqing picked up a cream cake and took a bite.
After the sweet and cloying taste melted in his mouth, he suddenly said: “I think I know where the exit is.”
Wu Jia reacted the fastest, “Where is it, where is it”
Shen Dongqing pointed.
Everyone looked in the direction of where he was pointing towards.
There was a “Safe Exit” sign hanging on the wall, and it was even emitting a green lustre.
Wu Jia could not even be bothered to eat as he swiftly stood up.
“Let’s go over and take a look.”
Shen Dongqing polished off his cream cake in two to three bites before he lifted up a box of fried chicken and trailed after him.
Before he took two steps, he twisted his head back, picked up a can of coke and held it in his arms.
Owing to the fact that his arms were stuffed with food, even walking became inconvenient since he was genuinely afraid of his fried chicken falling out if he tilted it.
Zhou Wenyan waited for some time and upon seeing his cautious appearance, he could not help but chuckle.
Then, he stepped forwards to share a portion of the burden.
They followed the directions along the safe passageway to walk towards the exit, and after bending around a few corners, they reached a small door.
This was probably the place where the food was being transported from.
Once they pushed open the door, there was a small road outside, and both sides of the road were occupied by overgrown grass.
A sandy gust of wind blew past.
Shen Dongqing’s first reaction was to protect the fried chicken in his arms, whereas Zhou Wenyan – who was standing beside him – stretched his hand out to block his eyes, lest the sand particles flew in.
* * *
After waiting for the sand-carrying wind to pass, the players realised that they were located at the outskirts of the city, and the base was south of the city.
The city had rows upon rows of constructed buildings, with high-rise office buildings, and comparatively shorter apartment buildings and villas.
Just based on its appearance alone, this city belonged to a more technologically advanced world, except it was too desolate, such that they did not meet a single person along their way, and it was utterly silent.
Wu Jia glanced at the sun to get a feel of the time.
“It should be afternoon right now.”
Logically speaking, there should be a few passers-by appearing.
But this city was just like an empty city: the shops along the streets seemed to be bustling with business, but the reality was that there was not a single human figure in sight.
Shen Dongqing: “There isn’t even a single person here.”
In accordance with his simple and crude style, he was definitely planning on looking for someone to interrogate them, but he did not expect this place would be utterly devoid of people.
Zhou Wenyan walked into a convenience store.
All sorts of commodities were displayed on the shelves in an orderly fashion, the television hanging on the wall was still turned on, but there were no channels being broadcasted since it was only showing static.
He picked up an item from the shelf and checked the expiration date.
These items have been expired for more than a year; no one had dealt with these products at all.
After combining the evidence before him with the White Coat’s words, he reckoned that this city had turned into a dead city.
Zhou Wenyan put down the item and walked out.
“Let’s stroll around.”
Apart from the lack of people in the city, it could be considered as a modernised metropolis, since it had schools, shopping malls, and every kind of entertainment facility.
Despite walking from start to end, they did not find a single clue, and the fried chicken bucket in Shen Dongqing’s arms was eventually reduced to chicken bones.
He continued to hold the empty fried chicken bucket until he could throw it into the dustbin located at the side.
Just as he was about to turn around and walk back, he unknowingly stepped onto something, which made him issue a noise.
Shen Dongqing shifted his foot away.
Underneath his foot was a piece of paper, and the paper was clearly stained with his footprint. Maintaining the good instilled habit of picking up the trash that had fallen to ground, he stooped over to pick it.
Just as he was preparing to ball it up and throw it away, he caught a glimpse of a familiar-looking sign.
Shen Dongqing ceased his movement, unfurling the paper he had rolled into half instead.
It was a recruitment notice.
Since it had been pasted for quite a long duration, it had experienced the weathering of the wind and rain, which caused its borders to become a dark yellow.
【 RECRUITMENT NOTICE
Due to the needs in business expansion, the company is accepting job applications from the following personnel, with high salaries:
Master’s Degree or above, Majoring in Biological Science, Fresh Graduate
1 Maintenance Logistic Staff
Master’s Degree or above, Majoring in Public Communications, with 3 or more years of experience in a related field of work
No Academic Requirements, with generous wages and treatment.
If interested, please contact Marketing Director Mr.
Life Science Research Company 】
Shen Dongqing: “I think I found a clue!”
The group surrounded that recruitment notice, mulling over it.
Wu Jia: “I didn’t expect that the recruitment formalities would be this exhaustive.”
The Short-haired Woman pointed at the positions listed on the paper, stating: “The first two look reasonable, but the last ‘volunteer’ category looks weird no matter how you look at it.”
Wu Jia’s heart chilled, “It couldn’t be those experimental bodies, right”
Shen Dongqing: “We’ll know once we call and ask.”
He fished out his phone, inputting the telephone number listed before he called it.
With how the telephone number was appearing time and time again, it symbolised that it was definitely crucial to their clearance.
And because the call hadn’t gone through back in the fabricated world, the players were extremely focused on whether the call could go through this time around.
In this instance, it no longer stated that it was an empty number, because after it rang three times, the call went through.
The player stared at the screen display anxiously.
It was dead silent on the other end of the call.
Not even the sound of breathing could be heard.
However, the screen undeniably showed that the call had gone through.
Time passed by the second and minute.
Wu Jia was deathly afraid of disturbing the person on the other end, so he mouthed his following words: “What’s going on”
The Short-haired Woman shook her head, conveying that she did not know either.
Shen Dongqing did not have so many misgivings by comparison; having reached the end of his patience, he picked up the phone directly, he said loudly: “Are you there Say something.”