Ch58 - So Hungry
(Who died exactly)
Edited by Silver Wind
Shen Dongqing was given a small portion of the rabbit meat.
Initially, he still wanted to try what roasted rabbits tasted like but after he received the meat and sniffed it, his eyebrows scrunched together reflexively.
“Smells odd,” he commented.
Although he could not place his finger on where the oddity came from, it undoubtedly ruined his appetite and he had no intention of touching it.
For starters, the outward appearance of the rabbit meat was not appealing with its half-cooked state, but the other players were devouring it with delectation under the impulse of hunger.
Seeing that Shen Dongqing had placed the rabbit meat at the side, the Businessman did not care about his own reputation as he thickened his skin and said: “If you don’t want to eat it, let us eat it instead.”
Without waiting for Shen Dongqing’s agreement, the Businessman grabbed the rabbit meat and ran as if he was deathly afraid of someone snatching it away and he proceeded to wolf it down in two to three bites – bones included and completely swallowed – his entire visage was glowing as he feasted.
Shen Dongqing paid no heed to it and turned his head around to ask: “Are you hungry”
Zhou Wenyan: “I’m okay.”
He was a little hungry as well, and his stomach was squeezing and contracting but it was still within the scope where he could endure.
Shen Dongqing glanced at his suitcase, then plucked out a chocolate bar and stuffed it into his hands.
He never thought they would encounter such a situation and he only brought some snacks as a result.
Admittedly, they were not ideal for staving off hunger.
Zhou Wenyan tore open the wrapper and took a bite of the chocolate.
The sweet and cloying chocolate melted in his mouth and it seemed to alleviate some of the strain in his stomach.
He bit down on another segment of it before he held it before Shen Dongqing’s mouth.
Shen Dongqing pushed away Zhou Wenyan’s hand.
“You can eat it, I’m not hungry.” He pinched his nose, “The things here are all weird and we don’t have many snacks.
We should save some food.”
Furthermore, he could eat the yin energy on Zhou Wenyan’s body if he was hungry.
Shen Dongqing was akin to a hamster storing up grain to pass the winter as he held onto his suitcase of snacks.
Zhou Wenyan chuckled: “Come over here.”
Shen Dongqing shuffled closer to him slowly.
Reaching his hand out, Zhou Wenyan directly pulled him into his embrace, before lowering his head and kissing him.
Shen Dongqing widened his eyes: “Mm…”
It was sweet
The chocolate had scarcely melted when it was forced into Shen Dongqing’s mouth, and it changed into a sweet, warm current.
Zhou Wenyan shortened the distance between the both of them and used his thumb to brush across Shen Dongqing’s lips to wipe off the smudge of chocolate there.
“Let’s eat it together.”
Hence, the pair ate all the chocolate by feeding each other one mouthful after another.
It was only after they were done that they realised they were missing two players since the Businessman who was touching his rounded belly as he reclined on the ground was the only one present.
The moment they stepped out of the cave that blocked the wind, the frigid cold wind hit them right in their faces.
Internet Celebrity raised her hand to block the gust as she bit out: “What did you pull me out for”
A trace of panic flashed across the Doctor’s expression.
“Follow me, I suspect that the businessman is the deceased.”
Internet Celebrity went silent for a moment before she asked: “Do you have evidence”
There was nothing unusual about the Businessman in the slightest; even if he wanted to accuse him of being the dead, he had to bring out the evidence.
The Doctor looked left and right.
Seeing that no one was following them, he said, “Follow me.”
Thus, the two of them walked onto the snow-covered ground, leaving a trail of footprints behind them.
More snow had fallen since the Doctor had been here, and the mark he previously left was covered, such that he could not even find the tufts of rabbit fur.
The Doctor’s heart thumped as he walked over according to his memory.
However, after flipping around the snow for a long time, he did not manage to find the finger he had hidden.
The Internet Celebrity was getting impatient, “Have you found it or not”
The down jacket she was wearing was thin and form-fitting, so standing in the snow directly made her feel the bone-piercing chill.
Shuffling her feet back and forth, she said: “I’ll wait for you over there.” Then, she ran behind a huge rock.
Meanwhile, the Doctor was obsessed and he did not care about the words of the Internet Celebrity; even when his hands became red from the cold, he continued to search the snow for the item.
He did not know how long he had been digging for but the Doctor finally touched something that had become hard and stiff, causing a smile to spread across his face: “Come over quickly—”
His last syllable was scattered by the cold wind.
The Doctor’s mouth parted slightly and he went stock-still.
The finger in front of him looked slender and long, and it was not wearing the large and ostentatious gold ring.
The Doctor displaced another layer of snow.
A lean figure could be seen lying underneath.
She was wearing a red down jacket and because she was frozen into ice, Internet Celebrity’s supposed sharp face became distorted from the additional layer.
He was utterly stunned and rooted to the ground, and his body seemed to be enveloped by the frigidity because he could not move at all.
Behind him, the Internet Celebrity’s short yell sounded out.
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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Ktf Pcafgcfa Jfifyglas kjr agslcu ogjcalmjiis ab frmjqf jr rtf gjc bea ogbw yftlcv atf gbmx.
Dgfjatlcu tjgv, rtf raeaafgfv, “Kt-Ktfgf…”
The Doctor gave her a deep look and asked: “What”
Finally regaining her breath, Internet Celebrity pointed in the direction of the rock and said: “I saw that little lady’s corpse, that girl with Braided Pigtails!”
Doctor: “Let’s go over and take a look.”
The Internet Celebrity was somewhat unwilling but under the Doctor’s insistent requests, she still walked back over.
However, there was nothing behind the rock structure.
Internet Celebrity opened her mouth wide and said in disbelief, “I obviously saw it…”
Had the Doctor not discovered Internet Celebrity’s corpse underneath the snow, he would have believed her words.
With a perfunctory tone, he uttered, “I think we should go back first.”
Due to the fact that she was still badly shaken, Internet Celebrity did not notice the Doctor’s change as she nodded her head, wanting to get back to human company as soon as possible.
“Burp.” The businessman rubbed his stomach, “I’m going outside to take a piss, hah.”
After he informed them, he ambled outside, swaying back and forth until he found a place that was relatively hidden.
Just as he pulled down his pants and lowered his head, his need to pee was forcibly suppressed back.
The Businessman took consecutive steps back and the heel of his foot tripped over a small stone, making him fall backwards and land on his butt.
However, he did not process the pain at all as he stared straight ahead.
The area had been covered by a thicket of deadwood and a noticeable hand slipped out of it.
Lying behind the deadwood was a bespectacled man with refined features, except his face had chilled to a greenish-white and the lens of his spectacles had frosted over.
The Businessman’s throat knot rolled while his limbs remained unmoving.
He did not know how long he sat there but he heard the sound of conversation coming from behind him.
It was only then that he regained control of his bodily functions and he struggled to climb to his feet and return back to the camp.
Upon seeing the Businessman wobble past him, Shen Dongqing tilted his head.
“Why do I feel like everyone has become strange”
Zhou Wenyan said: “Let’s go and check it out.”
The Businessman had left a trail of footsteps in the snow and it was not covered yet, which allowed them to trace back to where he came from.
Very quickly, the pair reached the location that the Businessman had found.
All that was there was a thicket of deadwood and nothing else.
Shen Dongqing kicked at the deadwood, causing the accumulated snow on it to land with a soft thump but he found nothing hidden underneath.
“What did they see” Shen Dongqing could not comprehend.
Zhou Wenyan knelt with one knee.
“It should be this.”
Hearing that, Shen Dongqing knelt together with him.
Stretching out his hand, Zhou Wenyan started shifting away the accumulated snow and slowly but surely, a person’s facial features emerged.
Shen Dongqing found it increasingly familiar the longer he looked, and when the entire visage was unveiled to him, his eyes widened.
He stared into the eyes of the “Shen Dongqing” that had been buried in the snow.
If someone else had seen their own corpse, they would have suffered from a huge scare but not only was Shen Dongqing not afraid, he was poking at himself with a huge amount of curiosity.
“It’s hard!” Shen Dongqing exclaimed in surprise.
Zhou Wenyan’s composure was maintained throughout.
“It was frozen.”
Shen Dongqing looked at a mirror infrequently, and now that he was confronted with himself, it gave rise to a mystifying feeling.
He pinched and poked at everywhere before he eventually tacked on another line: “Why don’t we bring it back”
In the previous copy, he wanted to bring back a skeleton baby to play with but it was so scared that it redeemed itself on the spot, but they should be able to bring back this dead body as a souvenir, right
Zhou Wenyan: “We can’t bring it back.”
Quizzical, Shen Dongqing asked: “Why not”
Zhou Wenyan rose to his full height and shook off the snow that landed on his body.
“This probably isn’t real.”
That caused Shen Dongqing to react.
If this corpse was real, wouldn’t that mean that he was already dead
He turned his head back and pinched his own cheeks.
They were soft and flexible and they even held some warmth.
“I’m not dead ah.” Shen Dongqing was in a state of confusion.
In reply to that, Zhou Wenyan could not help but laugh.
“Close your eyes.”
Subconsciously, Shen Dongqing complied with Zhou Wenyan’s words and shut his eyes obediently.
After waiting for a moment, he heard his voice ring out by his ear again: “Open your eyes.”
Shen Dongqing blinked his eyes as he lowered his head to look again, and the corpse on the ground had disappeared.
Although it meant that he was not dead, it made him a little disappointed.
He could not bring it back as a memento.
Zhou Wenyan continued: “Perhaps my ‘corpse’ is nearby too.”
Upon hearing him say that, Shen Dongqing was filled with enthusiasm in an instant and he started to dig at the snow that was close to him.
Without needing to dig too deeply, he managed to find Zhou Wenyan’s ‘corpse’.
“It’s true,” Shen Dongqing felt him up, “It’s exactly the same.”
Zhou Wenyan folded his arms.
“You can touch the real person and yet you’re choosing to touch the fake one”
The actual, big living person was right in front of him, and yet he was feeling up the fake thing everywhere— how could he possibly not be jealous
Shen Dongqing withdrew his hands in a hurry, raising his head to gaze at Zhou Wenyan with an ingratiating smile.
Zhou Wenyan reached out and pulled him up in one tug.
Then, he stooped over to dust off the snow that he was stuck to his legs.
When Shen Dongqing turned his head back, he realised that the corpse buried in the snow had disappeared again.
Rubbing his eyes, he said: “Was that a hallucination just now”
Zhou Wenyan replied: “En.”
In response to that, Shen Dongqing hooked his finger at him.
Zhou Wenyan bent his body and leaned closer.
Stretching out both his hands, he covered Zhou Wenyan’s cheeks and squished them.
His action riled some laughter out of Zhou Wenyan in return, and his voice had changed a little when he spoke.
Shen Dongqing allowed his hands to drop as he sneakily changed the topic: “If everyone stumbles on the corpses of other people, wouldn’t they be pointing at each other when dinner time arrives”
Zhou Wenyan nodded.
Shen Dongqing: “If that’s the case, we can’t find the real person who died at all ah.”
Zhou Wenyan gave a light hum of acquiesce in reply.
Shen Dongqing twisted his head to look at him: “Have you guessed something”
Relaxing his hands, Zhou Wenyan said, “No.” Then, he switched to another tangent, “However, I’m thinking about what I would do if it was me.”
Shen Dongqing blinked at him owlishly, “What would you do”
As he held his partner’s waist, Zhou Wenyan trod back to the camp slowly: “I am only certain that both of us are alive.
The clearance method is very simple, we just have to slaughter the rest.”
Shen Dongqing raised his head to look at him: “For real”
Zhou Wenyan pinched his nose which had gone red from the cold, “It’s fake.”
If he massacred without restraint for the sake of clearance, would that not mean that he had lost all of his own will and he had assimilated into the game
Because even if he cleared the copy then, the person would no longer be a person.
Shen Dongqing covered his nose and said in a low, muffled voice, “What should we do then”
This was different from the previous games that Shen Dongqing had played.
Prior to this, he only needed the strength to mown down the ghosts and monsters that he encountered and everything would be settled, but now he had to use his brains, he really did not like such games!
If the game heard what Shen Dongqing was saying in his heart, it would definitely laugh gleefully.
Afterall, the game’s purpose was not to gain the favour of the players but to make them scared; thus, being hated is the best outcome for it.
Zhou Wenyan only uttered one word: “Wait.”
Butchering the other players in order to clear the game was still a viable option.
However, Zhou Wenyan not wanting to annihilate the rest did not mean that other players would be against doing such a thing.
When all was said and done, and under the circumstances where they could not decrypt the riddle, using such a method was the simplest way, albeit crude.
When they returned back to the camp, everyone was gathered there.
Only a period of time had passed but the atmosphere between the players were poles apart; each and every one of them kept their distance and they would occasionally survey their surroundings vigilantly.
Meanwhile, the NPCs remained oblivious to it as they busied themselves to prepare for the night.
Unfolding a tent, Lisa tossed a sidelong glance at everyone else: “Hurry up and get the tents set up, or we won’t have anywhere to sleep tonight.”
The other players did not move.
Rather, it was only Zhou Wenyan and Shen Dongqing who went over to offer a helping hand.
As Shen Dongqing held down a corner of the tent, Zhou Wenyan used a stone to hammer down the nail to affix the tent cover properly.
Without requiring much time, they managed to set up a tent.
Lisa breathed a sigh of relief: “I’ll let you stay in this tent! We still have three more tents.”
Hearing that, Zhou Wenyan gave a seemingly offhanded question: “Why did you bring four tents when there’s only three of you”
Lisa’s complexion remained unchanged: “It’s for insurance of course! If a tent happens to be damaged, we will still have one in reserve.”
Once she finished speaking, she turned around and went to set up the other tents.
The amount of daylight they received on a snow-capped mountain was usually longer than normal, for it was only after they had set up the tents that the skies took on a tangerine hue.
Lisa started making her soup again, causing the strange scent to waft into the air.
According to her logic, there was not enough resources right now and they could only gather the soup water to cushion their stomachs.
However, it was apparent that her soup was not in high demand, since only Borg and Leo helped to prop up the scene, and that included Braided Pigtails who pinched her nose and drank two bowls.
When Lisa held the bowl and offered it the rest, she was rejected by each and every one of them.
Hence, she threw down her ladle with some anger and sat back into her seat.
As she gazed at the bowl of soup with floating grease on its surface, she muttered to herself, “Picking and choosing, when the time comes where you have nothing to eat, wouldn’t…”
Zhou Wenyan was seated closer to her and heard the words she was mumbling.
He asked: “What”
Lisa’s visage deepened and she did not reply as she emptied the bowl’s content in one gulp.
After drinking the soup, the three NPCs returned back to their own respective tents.
According to their distribution, the three ladies Internet Celebrity, Braided Pigtails and Lisa were in one tent, Businessman and Borg, the Doctor and Leo, each shared a tent.
However, the players did not have the intention to enter the tent right now and they continued to sit outside, being blown by the cold wind.
They were waiting for the identification period after dinner.
The colours of the sky gradually darkened.
A group of seated players surrounded the fire.
The flames were leaping up which brightened and darkened the players’ faces alternatingly.
【 Identification time has commenced 】
【 Please identify who you think is the deceased 】
The Businessman was the first to speak: “It’s the doctor, I saw his corpse with my own eyes!”
The Doctor refuted him immediately: “Bull**! Internet Celebrity is the real dead person, I saw her corpse as well!”
Braided Pigtails inserted weakly: “I saw Businessman’s corpse.”
Internet Celebrity pointed a finger at Braided Pigtails and her voice was raised by an octave: “She’s already dead! I don’t want to sleep in the same tent as a dead person!”
The four were mutually pointing at each other, turning it into a closed loop.
The remaining two, Shen Dongqing and Zhou Wenyan did not utter a single word but the other four had already descended into a heated argument and they did not notice that point.
The game did not care for the players’ ensuing argument as it announced the results on its own terms:
【 Regretfully, tonight ends in a draw 】
【 Perhaps you have already found the real deceased but you do not possess the reliable evidence to persuade others, please continue to work hard on the second day 】
The game’s voice landed, and the fireside sank into dead silence.
Pointing at each other was null and void; they had to use a majority vote when identifying the deceased before it could be considered as truly solving the riddle.
However, with the situation they were in now where everyone was saying they saw a corpse, no one could persuade the other.
The others finally came to an understanding.
The Doctor stole the initiative to speak first: “I suggest that everyone should stay together tomorrow and search for the corpses they saw today.”
Internet Celebrity nodded: “Sure.”
The Businessman and Braided Pigtails had no opinions.
After settling their agenda for tomorrow, all the players entered their respective tents.
The tent’s zipper was pulled down and the interior plunged into darkness.
Under the circumstances where the campfire was lacking in fuel, it gradually weakened as well before it finally emitted wisps of green smoke that curled up and floated towards the sky.
After waiting for everything to return to silence, a figure climbed out from the darkness.
Their four limbs were placed on the ground but they did not leave a single mark on the ground.
It was as if they were floating gently towards the camp centre and they came to a stop at the soup pot that Lisa had used.
That person slowly bent their body and stuffed their entire head into the small soup pot and breathed in deeply, looking extremely obsessed.
Hungry, so hungry, why were they so hungry.
Really wanted to eat something.
Lifting their head from the soup pot, they twisted their body and climbed towards one of the tents, extending an emaciated finger, ravenous.
However, before they even touched the tent, they felt a terrifying breath emitting from it.
They withdrew their hand in a hurry before rolling and crawling back into the darkness to merge with it, not daring to move at all.
In the tent.
Shen Dongqing opened his half-lidded eyes and mumbled in a dazed manner: “Why does it feel like…” There’s something.
Before he managed to finish his sentence, he could not suppress the sleepiness and he closed his eyes again, drilling into Zhou Wenyan’s embrace and nuzzling him like a cat.
Soon after, he drifted back to sleep.