Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Even if someone had bravely gone to their death, Shen Si didn’t feel good watching a person disappear.
Xia Leyu had returned to the others to study the clock in his hand. Shen Si slowly crouched down along the wall, hugged his knees, looking slightly lonely, then he looked at the crowd at Xia Leyu expressionlessly. The phone in his hand was clenched tightly.
Everyone’s memory was modified, they only remembered being trapped in the playfield with nine people, not remembering those who had disappeared. He Xin’s recorded names were automatically erased after the disappearance of the person, photos would also be tampered with, which meant that these means were not feasible.
In the end, where could he find clues?
Shen Si slowly stood up, looked at his phone, and a moment later he slightly narrowed his eyes.
Before Feng Jiancheng disappeared, did he talk to He Xin alone? If this video left a message, even if Feng Jiancheng disappeared, only He Xin talking to himself would seem strange, so it could be considered evidence.
Shen Si quickly got up and left.
Feng Jiancheng and He Xin’s conversation was in front of the Special Unit office. All he needed to do was look for the hallway surveillance to see the whole thing, and hope that the surveillance was working properly.
It was hard to find the surveillance room. Almost none of the places put the unified surveillance room in the open, especially the Special Unit, which was a national organization. It took Shen Si a long time to see the sign of the monitoring room in a very hidden place. When he tried to push the door, it was pushed open with a creak.
Countless bright screens were presented in front of Shen Si, there were security cameras everywhere, the time was running, but the time was the same as the one on the clock in the corridor.
He actually searched for nearly half an hour before finding the surveillance room.
He needed to find the exact time when it was manipulated. Shen Si began to check the earlier surveillance footage, he adjusted the time to a few minutes before three o’clock, then turned it up to the hallway security camera. He was able to clearly see those people studying the clock, He Xin recording data, but there was no Qiao Xingye among them and no one was talking to the air.
Shen Si frowned slightly, the time passed one minute and it was three o’clock, when he could clearly see himself taking out the camera and pointing it at those people, as well as He Xin’s three second pause while taking notes.
However, there was still no one.
It was a complete disappearance, not even leaving a trace in the surveillance footage.
Shen Si was silent for a moment, then he forwarded the surveillance footage all the way to two o’clock. Qiao Xingye never appeared on screen and there was no trace of Xin Ping’s presence either.
Even though the results were already in his mind, Shen Si still turned the time back a little, he looked for Feng Jiancheng’s figure in the footage, but whether it was before or after one o’clock there was no one else. There were only nine existing people on the monitor screen, they were scattered in all directions, and nothing looked fishy.
Shen Si didn’t know where Feng Jiancheng went, nor did he know where he disappeared, perhaps until the last second of disappearance, he was alone.
The time was adjusted back a little bit, until the moment they talked in the office and then left, a total of nine people came out of the office, not talking at all. He Xin also didn’t talk to anyone, and each person chose a direction to leave on their own.
It looked like this method also didn’t have any result ah.
Shen Si sighed, so he had no choice but to pull the timeline back to the very beginning, but when he did so, with a shrill sound, all the monitors were filled with flashing screens.
“What?” Shen Si was shocked as he looked at the screen and blinked, “What’s going on?”
The stripes kept jumping on the monitor, Shen Si didn’t leave nor did he try to adjust the time, he just watched the screen until the screen gradually returned to normal. Shen Si glanced at the bottom right corner of the time, it read: 00:00:00.
It was the very beginning of time.
Shen Si saw everyone converge, they all stood in the corridor in front of the office of the Special Unit, 12 people, but just then, the screen stopped, a large pause symbol jumped out. Shen Si’s body leaned slightly back, this pause was not because of him.
At this time Shen Si subconsciously looked to the bottom right corner at the time, and was surprised to find that the time was still 00:00:00.
“Feng Jiancheng, Xin Ping, Qiao Xingye, Xia Leyu…” Shen Si looked at the paused screen, “All the original numbers were there. At the beginning, the clock used distance to determine the number, and Feng Jiancheng became number 1, because he heard the sound and went over.”
Taking out his phone to take a picture of the screen, Shen Si was ready to continue watching, but at this point, he suddenly found something wrong with the paused screen.
It was clearly paused, and the picture was still, even the time in the bottom right corner stayed 00:00:00, but the clock on the wall was shaking.
Crack, the glass on the face of the clock burst, and the clock hanging on the wall started oozing blood, and a figure covered in blood squeezed out from the dial. Shen Si watched it crawl on the ground, all the way to Feng Jiancheng’s body. The hand held Feng Jiancheng’s ankle, and Feng Jiancheng suddenly came to life as he began to move.
Shen Si could clearly see the footage of Feng Jiancheng’s distorted face, desperately struggling, but he simply couldn’t break free, only to be swallowed by this black shadow bit by bit.
The screen instantly jumped after another ear-piercing sound, and when Shen Si looked to the bottom right corner, the time was 1:00:00, showing the corridor with the weird clock on the wall.
That was the time he heard the first “No. 1 is disappearing”.
With a slightly shaky hand, Shen Si set the time back to 0:00 again, and after a familiar screen the video was still again. They were still standing in the same place, but Feng Jiancheng had already disappeared, only a puddle of blood remained. The monster inside crawled out again, but this time it aimed at Xin Ping.
After the failed struggle, Xin Ping disappeared, and the screen jumped again, this time to 2:00:00, with everyone on the screen standing still, wondering what had happened.
No longer rewinding the footage, Shen Si slowly rested his elbows on the table with a slight bewilderment in his eyes.
Was this the rule?
Every hour, the monster would come on time to kill someone, and the person killed was equivalent to being killed in the past, and since there was no past, there was no future to speak of, so everyone present would forget about the person, for they had died before the game started.
What could be done?
This monster had the ability to go back in time, but they were just ordinary people, and even the Survivors didn’t have a way to bring themselves back in time. Shen Si didn’t mull on it any longer, since he suddenly saw the time displayed below: 03:56:23, less than four minutes before the full hour.
Shen Si hurriedly ran out of the surveillance room, running forward, his feet picking up speed.
He needed to catch up with it…
In a different place, the group that stayed still hadn’t worked out what was going on, because the clock couldn’t be damaged, no matter what weapon they used. They sat in the hallway around the clock, each with a slight disappointment on their face, after all, it was their only clue.
“Where’s Shen Si?” Ning Yangze looked around, “Where did he go again?”
“It doesn’t matter, maybe we can find clues that will clear up the situation a bit.” Xia Leyu didn’t really care, he held the clock in both hands, “Say, isn’t it almost time?”
“Ah.” Ning Yangze looked at the clock in his hands, “There are a couple of minutes left.”
The people were not in a good mood, so far, nothing had happened but they were confined to the world so that they almost lost all their fighting spirit. They were completely confused, and didn’t know what direction to go. If they could choose, most of them would probably go with a slightly more exciting playfield.
At least there were clues everywhere in those.
In the quiet, empty corridor, a sudden sound of running was getting clearer, and when they looked to the end of the corridor, Shen Si rushed down from the stairs. But then, with a click, the beep sounded.
“Number 1 is disappearing!”
Shen Si stopped in his tracks, he took a small gasp, and in the middle of the crowd, Xia Leyu disappeared into thin air as the clock fell to the floor with a crisp sound.
“Number 1 disappeared!”
The first sentence ‘Number 1 is disappearing’ was the monster returning to the past, and the second sentence ‘Number 1 disappeared’ was the monster successfully eliminating the current number 1.
Shen Si slowly squatted down, and looked at the clock on the ground, dark eyes full of concentration. A moment later he pulled open his sleeve; the number on his arm had become 3.
“Why didn’t you hold the clock properly, Sun Zhi?” Yang Yi looked at Sun Zhi, “It scared me just now when it fell on the ground.”
“Sorry!” Sun Zhi hastily picked the clock up, “My hand slipped and I dropped it on the floor.”
“It’s okay, since this clock isn’t anything important, there’s no need for us to continue spending time on it, and Shen Si is back.” Ning Yangze stood up, “Although I didn’t want to say so, but our current situation is ultimately just a waste of time, I think it’s time to move on to other places to look for clues.”
As he got up from the floor, Shen Si walked straight through the group followed by the others’ puzzled gazes. He pushed open the office door and walked in and started to go through the files on the table without a care, and Ning Yangze followed him, shocked.
“What are you doing?”
“Looking for something.” Shen Si turned the pile of papers, then turned toward the coffee machine. Under the group’s utterly confused gazes he turned over the coffee machine to take a closer look, and finally he opened the computer on the home page.
Only Ning Yangze’s name was on the files, the scratches on the coffee machine looked like a child’s writing, and the computer’s login credentials were also Ning Yangze’s.
Xia Leyu had completely disappeared.
“What the hell are you doing, Shen Si?” Ning Yangze came over and grabbed Shen Si’s wrist, “You can’t go through the Special Unit’s stuff.”
“Wait a minute.” Shen Si looked at Ning Yangze, “Team Leader Ning, do you know how to use a computer?”
“How to use a computer?” Ning Yangze thought about it, “Yes, but I’m not good at it.”
Shen Si looked at Ning Yangze’s login information on the main page of the forum, “But you created this forum, and you are also the one who maintains it on a daily basis, right?”
“About that…” Ning Yangze froze and opened his mouth, but didn’t know what to say, subconsciously letting go of Shen Si’s hand, he stood dumbfoundedly in place, “Yes, it should be me who created this forum in response to the rapid return of Survivors, but I am not good with computers, so how did I create this forum?”
Yang Yi and the others looked at each other while standing in the doorway, and didn’t make a sound to disturb them.
“Where is your deputy team leader?” Shen Si looked at him, “The Inspection Unit has a team leader and deputy team leader, so the Special Unit should also have a deputy leader. Your deputy team leader, where did he go?”
“My deputy team leader…”
Ning Yangze whispered, “The Special Unit has a deputy team leader?”
“The current organizations created for the Survivors and the playfields each have a team leader and a deputy team leader to balance the new organization’s position as well as to maintain basic order.” He Xin walked in and looked at Ning Yangze, he seemed to have fully understood the seriousness of the matter, “The Special Unit is currently the most important organization and would not lack a deputy team leader for no reason. Ning Yangze, your deputy team leader has disappeared.”
“…Disappeared.” Ning Yangze looked to Shen Si, “I have a deputy team leader? And he disappeared?”
Shen Si walked out of the office, then he waved to the rest of the group, “Follow me.”
Subconsciously looking at He Xin, Ning Yangze was currently caught in self-doubt and his judgment was rapidly declining, so he chose to believe in the judgment of his former partner He Xin.
“Trust him, the only way to proceed now is to trust him.” He Xin continued, “From the beginning he was telling us that someone had disappeared, and although we didn’t fully believe it for the lack of evidence in his hands, something unexplainable did happen now.”
Yang Yi followed, “If what he said is true, then four people have completely disappeared so far.”
“The truth must come to light!”
The crowd followed Shen Si to the isolated surveillance room, and even though there were only eight people left, they still completely filled the surveillance room. Shen Si pulled the surveillance footage back to zero, and just like before, the surveillance footage started rapidly flickering, and when the screen slowly recovered, the group could see the footage of them just entering the playfield.
“…Who are those people?” Sun Zhi looked at the people on the screen, then looked at the blood stains on the ground and the two unfamiliar people, “Who are they?”
“I don’t know.” Yang Yi looked at the two people, “Can’t remember.”
The black shadow crawled out of the clock, the person it caught started to run away, failed to escape and was swallowed up, then the screen flickered and finally jumped to 3 o’clock sharp.
Shen Si rewound the footage expressionlessly; still the same picture, still the same ghostly shadow crawling out of the clock.
The time was turned back to Xia Leyu, and the moment he realized what was going on, he quickly escaped, but he had no special abilities and was an ordinary person, so he couldn’t resist. At the last moment, he threw a stone towards the clock, the stone smashed the clock, leaving a white imprint.
But it still didn’t help.
The screen jumped again, the time four o’clock.
“Who is he?” Ning Yangze looked at Shen Si, “What’s his name?”
“Xia Leyu.” Shen Si stood up, “Deputy team leader of the Special Unit Group: Xia Leyu.”
“I’m here! Sorry!” A woman from the Special Unit headquarters ran in like the wind, pushing a large crate, wearing a white lab coat and white sneakers on her feet, her look completely unkempt. She was the deputy team leader of the Inspection Unit, Wu Qiu, and the person from the Inspection Unit contacted by the middle-aged man.
The middle-aged man looked at her, “It’s good that you’re here, hurry up and test!”
“Okay, okay! I’ll test right away!” Wu Qiu fumbled to open her backpack, but just as she unzipped the zipper, bang, all the things in the backpack scattered all over the ground. After being startled, she hurriedly began to sort haphazardly, but the more she organized the more messy it became. “I’m sorry, I’ll clean it up right away!”
The middle-aged man looked at her and sighed helplessly after a moment, “Xiao Qiu why are you this way?”
“I’m sorry…” Wu Qiu almost cried, looking like she was about to die of guilt.
Just then, the rest of the Inspection Unit was panting to catch up, and one of them hurriedly fished out glasses from his pocket and handed them to Wu Qiu, “Deputy Team Leader, you move too fast, didn’t Team Leader tell you not to act alone? Hurry up and put on your glasses and work.”
“Yes!” Wu Qiu hurriedly took the glasses and put them on.
Wu Qiu slowly breathed a sigh of relief, then stood up from the floor while casually picking up a tool, looked at the middle-aged man, with a face full of calmness, “What is it that needs to be tested?”
“That clock, test if it is related to a playfield.”
“A clock related to a playfield?” Wu Qiu carried the instrument into the office, and she stepped over the blood on the ground without even blinking. She was indifferent and calm to a certain extent, completely unlike when she entered the door fumbling like a stupid girl.
This was the deputy team leader of the Inspection Unit, and wearing glasses would change her personality into a scientific research demon. In the Inspection Unit, He Xin single-handedly promoted her and most of the playfield detection tasks were completed by her.
After using the instrument to test the clock once, she frowned slightly, and after the third test, Wu Qiu returned with the instrument.
“There is no playfield in this place.”
“Are you serious?” The middle-aged man looked at Wu Qiu in surprise, “But the fact is that twelve people are missing, and there are bodies falling from the ceiling.”
Wu Qiu picked up her test book from the floor, “I just said this place has no playfield, not that there is no playfield open.”
The middle-aged man paused for a moment.
“So far, a playfield is limited to a certain location. The playfield will directly circle certain places as it’s territory, but also include the people inside, and this playfield here is a new type, it doesn’t open in a specific place, but creates a space for itself.” Wu Qiu drew an abstract picture on the book, “In other words, it opens up a new space. So what about the missing twelve people pulled into the space for the game? Doesn’t it sound exactly the same as the unlimited flow world game mode?”
“What about the conditions to open it?” The middle-aged man continued to ask.
“There are no conditions.” A soft male voice sounded behind him, as Jian Nian leaned against the window, “It’s a pure luck style playfield, which is called Death Trial in the unlimited flow world.”
“There is no reward for correct answers.” Wu Qiu snapped her fingers.
“The Death Trial is a playfield without any rules and conditions in the unlimited flow world, its opening times and location can’t be determined, like a cloud floating in the air. When it feels happy while floating, it opens the playfield. Once open, you will be sucked in and become a participant in this game. This is really an unlucky game.”