Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 71: Four Erasers
Lu Xiaohe quickly tapped the keyboard. The air conditioning in the room was turned on, but sweat dripped from the tip of her nose and fell on the keyboard.
The signals of Unit 9 special investigation team had all disappeared at the same time.
This situation was unprecedented. Shian’s communication was based on Guo Laifu’s FM brainwaves. As long as Guo Laifu was still alive, the communication couldn’t be lost. Even if the people in Unit 9 forcibly committed suicide there, she would receive a very clear signal of death.
Was there a traitor?
No, there would always be a time difference when the monitoring equipment was removed. There was no sequence of abnormalities just now. The four people seemed to have sunk into the depths of a swamp at the same time without any ripples.
Abnormal band? Unknown interference?
Her gaze instantly swept across Guo Laifu’s rows of physiological data. Except for the occasional nightmarish mood swings, Guo Laifu’s brain didn’t have any changes.
Lu Xiaohe immediately connected to Hao Wenzhe, her immediate boss and Unit 1 rear commander in Shian.
Hao Wenzhe was a master programmer, specializing in artificial intelligence, and was one of the strongest science posts in Shian. He was currently serving as the rear commander of the Emergency Management Department. Between him and Professor Li, it was difficult to say which one was more difficult to communicate with.
“A major anomaly. We lost all communication signals in the Archive.” She didn’t use the internal communication software and instead called directly. “The four-person signal disappeared at the same time. Requesting emergency support.”
The man on the other side said, “Evil qi index? Traces of Evil Force?”
“All indices are normal. Only communication-related data suddenly dropped. The four of them didn’t differ in order. It’s suspected there’s an environmental impact.” Lu Xiaohe held her phone between her shoulder and head. Her fingers were jumping furiously on the keyboard. “I’m looking for more physiological indicators, but I still haven’t found a problem…”
Hao Wenzhe was silent for two seconds.
“Try wide-area FM,” he said. “If you need the support of my AI calculation, I’ll give you temporary permission.”
Lu Xiaohe’s fingers froze. “Wide-area FM? But…”
“Assuming there’s no problem with the communication equipment and there’s no abnormality in the brain itself, the most likely is the channel change.”
“But this is impossible,” Lu Xiaohe said in a daze.
Guo Laifu only had one brain. Even if he was schizophrenic or was possessed by a ghost, it stood to reason that it wouldn’t affect communication. Shian had never encountered such a precedent before, so “one brain, one channel” was described as the relevant iron rule.
“I don’t care if it’s impossible. I just gave the results.” Hao Wenzhe hummed perfunctorily. “Do you want my support or not?”
Without brainwave monitoring, finding an unknown channel was like finding a needle in a haystack. It was like asking a person to crack someone’s encrypted data, such as fingerprints or iris patterns, through the air, which was simply impossible with manpower.
But she didn’t have much choice.
Lu Xiaohe wiped the sweat from her face vigorously. “Yes!”
In less than half a minute, one of her screens went dark, and when it lit up again, there were countless rapidly flashing data points and waveforms on it.
Lu Xiaohe opened her handbag speechlessly and discharged two cans of energy drinks. After quickly downing a can, she exhaled fiercely and stared at the screen.
[Shian auxiliary computing system startup… loading…] An eye-catching dialogue box popped up on the screen.
[Permission has been confirmed. Hello, Lu Xiaohe. Cracking is about to begin. Please pay attention to the data changes and correct the calculation direction.]
[Cracking cannot be stopped after it’s initiated. Please make sure you are physically and mentally fit. Do you want to start now?]
Lu Xiaohe’s fingers paused for a moment on the enter key.
This thing was called a “brain juicer” by Shian internally. The operator had to concentrate throughout the process, monitoring every piece of feedback in the calculation and making decisions in real time. It was equivalent to a major operation with only one doctor. Once it began, there was no possibility of substitution.
She bit her lower lip and readjusted her breathing.
“Hello? Ah, mom.” After a while, Lu Xiaohe picked up her phone and dialed another number. “I’m going to be busy at work today, so I won’t go home for dinner.”
Lu Xiaohe’s tone was particularly brisk.
“Don’t wait up for me tonight… Mm, I’m spending the night at work. Don’t worry, I’m fine. I’m hanging up now.”
The phone touched the table with a soft clatter. The dialogue box waited quietly in front of her, and the word “start” was set with a blood red warning.
She tapped Enter.
“Welcome to Qingjiang No. 16 High School. Welcome to the last day of my life.”
Guo Wei’s voice floated in the dark.
“Teachers, family members, faculty, and students, you still have four chances left. Please work hard to leave the school.”
At the moment the broadcast sounded, the three people in the faculty dormitory were instantly awakened. Huang Jin grabbed the cloth bag next to the pillow, Ge Tingting listened with bated breath, and Zhong Chengshuo’s body was already in a fighting posture.
The next moment, a vision struck.
The noise from the loudspeaker disappeared, and the door of the faculty dorm shook, as if someone were unceremoniously slamming on it. However, Yin Ren didn’t feel any aura outside, and even a ghost in the normal sense didn’t exist there.
Amidst the banging on the door, Zhong Chengshuo’s voice was calm. “Who?”
The banging on the door suddenly stopped. For a while, the sound of a pin dropping could be heard.
Yin Ren shook his head slightly at Zhong Chengshuo and walked to the door. After the old-fashioned padlock was unlocked, Yin Ren cautiously cracked open the door.
Sure enough, there wasn’t anyone outside, but there was something on the ground…
Four erasers were neatly placed at the door. They were commonly used square erasers with “teacher”, “family member”, “faculty”, and “student” engraved on them. They were evenly spaced and stood at the door like four tombstones.
The moment he saw them, Yin Ren only felt a buzz in his head.
A bunch of fragmented pictures suddenly crashed into his mind.
It was past three in the afternoon. Finding that there was a communication problem with Lu Xiaohe, the four of them immediately tried to leave the campus. But just like the first time they tried to enter, they were firmly trapped in the school by an invisible barrier and were unable to move forward.
When it was four in the afternoon, after some discussion, the group decided to continue their search for the “cause”—if they found that they had lost each other, they would take action.
That weird Guo Wei wasn’t the target of their investigation.
After 5:00 p.m., the four of them decided to go to the faculty dorm to set up their stronghold when suddenly the world in front of Yin Ren was shattered.
As if pierced by an invisible bullet, something smashed into his temple and spewed out from the other side. A few erasers flew out and bounced on the slate floor a few times before rolling into the dirt.
Yin Ren looked at them in shock, intending to warn his companions. However, the moment he turned his gaze away, this thought instantly disappeared in his mind. He forgot everything about it and continued to stride leisurely towards the faculty dorm.
Seeing them again now, his memory instantly recovered.
Yin Ren reached for the four erasers. When he touched the one with “family member” written on it, it disappeared into thin air. The other three were in similar conditions.
The first time they saw these erasers, everyone immediately remembered the three hours they lost. When the erasers disappeared after being touched, their memories were restored.
All except for Zhong Chengshuo.
For the first time, this person resolutely refused to touch them. Zhong Chengshuo carefully put on gloves and only then proceeded to grab the eraser with “teacher” written on it.
This method of doing things was so weird that no one spoke. The atmosphere in the room was extremely gloomy, with only the sound of Zhong Chengshuo fiddling with the eraser left.
“This is… a warning?” Finally, Huang Jin spoke up with some difficulty.
Although he knew that Yin Ren and Zhong Chengshuo were powerful, his tone was still filled with worry. “I have never heard of this kind of attack.”
Ge Tingting’s expression was darkened, and she simply used text-to-speech. “I didn’t hear any strange noises at that time.”
“I’m sorry, vigilance was my main job.” She buried her head as she added this.
“It’s not your fault.” Yin Ren patted her on the shoulder. “’Guo Wei is showing us he has the ability to interfere with us. If he doesn’t do this, we may not play his escape game.”
If Ge Tingting could prevent this kind of trick, they wouldn’t be trapped here.
The situation wasn’t optimistic.
It was fine to lose irrelevant memories, but if important ones were taken away, it was enough to cause a huge mental shock. In this weird environment, being alone could daze people, and no one knew what the consequences of mental confusion would be.
Using Evil Force to overturn the chessboard would only be a last resort. Now the matter of the “cause” had to be put aside so they could deal with Guo Wei first.
Zhong Chengshuo hadn’t spoken this entire time. Yin Ren looked at the flattened eraser and found it difficult to say which one was more worried and helpless.
Encountering such a strange thing, there was no panic or fear on Zhong Chengshuo’s face. It would be better to say that he was in high spirits at the moment.
“This is a good opportunity to understand the capabilities of the other party. You have provided enough examples. I need to test more.”
As if feeling everyone’s scrutiny, Zhong Chengshuo explained while observing the eraser.
“Guo Wei can materialize our memories by some means. When we look at an object, our memories will be restored. After we look away, the relevant memory will disappear.”
Comrade Xiao Zhong happily continued, “Huang Jin, can you see thoughts on this thing?”
“No, it’s no different from the other things in here.” Huang Jin hesitated to speak but considering the other party’s status as “King Yama”, he answered honestly.
“Very good.” Zhong Chengshuo took out a small knife and pointed the blade straight at the “teacher” eraser.
Before Yin Ren consciously moved, his body was grabbed by Zhong Chengshuo, and his movements were full of warning.
“It’s okay,” Zhong Chengshuo said firmly. “Someone has to try, and the science post is the least susceptible.”
Those dark eyes quietly turned to Yin Ren as Zhong Chengshuo gently mouthed:
[I believe in you.]
Yin Ren was anxious upon seeing Zhong Chengshuo’s face. However, he had to admit that this person’s attempt was indeed necessary. Facing Guo Wei, they were lacking too much information.
Lord Ghost King bitterly let go of Zhong Chengshuo’s hand. “Okay, you can cut it.”
Wasn’t it just protecting this guy? He was used to this kind of thing.
The scene a few hours ago was replayed. Yin Ren struggled to get rid of his impression of Zhong Chengshuo fighting monsters. He clenched his hand and decided that if something went wrong, he would blow away the eraser.
Zhong Chengshuo cut the eraser carefully. The slices he made were so thin they looked like cicadas’ wings. Every time he cut a bit, Zhong Chengshuo would stop and take a closer look at the eraser, while Yin Ren would take a closer look at his partner.
“The item is missing more than 50%, and observation will not evoke memory… but it can be put back together.”
Half an hour later, Zhong Chengshuo took off his gloves.
“This situation is more like ‘repressing memories’ than ‘physically taking away memories’. Well, it’s a bit close to hypnosis or subconscious suggestion, so it’s no wonder it can affect me.”
After confirming Zhong Chengshuo was fine, Yin Ren breathed a sigh of relief.
“Then there’s only one question left.”
Yin Ren withdrew his hand that was resting on Zhong Chengshuo’s forehead to check his temperature as he spoke in an unhappy tone. “What does ‘Guo Wei’ want to do?”
“We don’t have enough clues.” Zhong Chengshuo took off his nightcap, dipped a towel in cold water, and wiped his face vigorously. “Let’s go out and have a look first.”
Before he finished speaking, Ge Tingting grabbed his sleeves.
The girl shook her head slowly and pointed in the direction of the window while she quickly typed with one hand.
“There’s a sound.” The synthetic voice sounded. “There’s a loud sound outside the window.”
Zhong Chengshuo was slightly startled. When he opened the curtains…
Seeing the scene outside, the four of them fell into silence in unison.
The streetlights outside the school were on, and it no longer looked like ink. The streets were empty, and there were no phantoms of students. The sky was normal, maintaining the darkness of night.
However, this normalcy was limited to the campus.
The faculty dorm was diagonally facing the gate, and the scene outside the gate was like hell.
In the darkness, weird limbs squeezed one by one, squirming uncontrollably. Long, sharp legs covered in mucus. Gray, white, and black colors were twisted into a mass that was rising and falling. Among the densely packed little monsters, several huge hands squeezed into the gap and scratched silently inward.
In the remaining gaps, the eyes of huge monsters blinked from time to time. They twitched uncontrollably and peeped openly.
In this way, the monsters were stripping layer after layer outside the “protective barrier” of the campus, forming a new wall with their bodies and wrapping around the small campus into a narrow bowl. It was completely different from the scene when they were in the hotel. These monsters seemed to be trying to squeeze in, but they couldn’t.
On the edge of the normal night sky, a faint corner of a huge vortex appeared, looking like a game where the modeling had gone wrong.
Yin Ren: “……”
What was going on? Looking at such a scene made him feel even less motivated to leave the school.
Having said that, when the outside buildings lit up, the monsters retreated like the tide before rushing to the campus gate again. Unlike the other side, which was sometimes bright and dark, the day and night in the school seemed to be aligned with the real world, which was somewhat touching.
The doorman was still the same strange-faced old man. He opened his window and stared at the four people in front of him.
“What are you doing in the middle of the night?”
“The child is seriously ill and must be sent to the hospital immediately,” Yin Ren said earnestly. “Her life is at stake, so can’t you do something to help?”
He and Zhong Chengshuo supported Ge Tingting, who was pretending to be dizzy, while Huang Jin tightly clutched a spirit weapon as he followed them closely.
The guard snickered. “You can’t leave even after death. This is the rule.”
He didn’t even give the four of them a chance to continue performing as he shut the window angrily.
At the moment the guard booth was closed, Huang Jin suddenly threw out his spirit weapon—a square wooden plaque was affixed to the metal sliding door and it exploded in an instant. The smoke and dust were scattered, and more than a dozen fire dragons rose into the sky. The explosion range wasn’t large, but the power wasn’t inferior to a bomb.
Even though the metal sliding door was stronger than they thought, it still became twisted from the explosion. The door rolled miserably to the ground, and its metal surface was blackened.
The doorman quickly opened the window and poked his head out. His face was covered with repeated swearing. Unfortunately, those words went in one ear and out the other to the four people in front of him…
The school gate was wide open now.
Was it that simple?
Amidst the filthy swears of the old doorman, Yin Ren tentatively stretched out a foot. The foot crossed the sliding door and was about to step on the ground but was forced to stop in midair.
He had stepped on the invisible barrier again.
Huang Jin took a deep breath while covering his face. He picked up the wood chips on the ground with a sullen face, and his movements revealed a deep sense of heartache.
“It seems the gate is just for show,” Yin Ren retracted his feet and said listlessly. “I guess the courtyard wall is similar—”
He raised his hand, and the twisted metal sliding door suddenly took off. A loud bang sounded as the sliding door slammed into the nearest courtyard wall like a missile, creating a huge hole in the wall.
The cursing of the old doorman suddenly increased by a few octaves.
Yin Ren grabbed the edge of the hole with both hands and tried to crawl out. Unfortunately, before Lord Ghost King’s shoulders crossed the wall, his forehead slammed into the transparent barrier.
“Heh, it really doesn’t work.”
Yin Ren rubbed his head, but there was no surprise in his tone.
“It seems that other conditions are required to leave,” Zhong Chengshuo said thoughtfully.
While the three of them were busy, Ge Tingting scratched the window sill of the guard booth, and a synthetic sound rang from her phone. “Grandpa, what’s the current time here?”
Doorman: “Aren’t you seriously ill?”
“Yes, a sudden illness with dizziness.” Ge Tingting’s synthetic voice was monotonous.
“Early self-study starts at 7:30 in the morning.” They weren’t sure if it was because he was talking to a child, but the old doorman stopped cursing, and his tone softened a little. “Tell me, what are you doing in the middle of the night? Aren’t you afraid of disturbing others?”
Ge Tingting read the words on her phone and then asked, “No one comes out at night?”
“How can anyone come out!” The old man screeched. “Go, go, go. Even if you have nothing to do, go back.”
It turned out the grandfather would always act like so.
What the old doorman said was true. The four of them wandered all night without finding a single breakthrough. Except for the faculty dormitory and the public bathrooms, the doors of all the buildings were chained. All the windows were like black holes, and there wasn’t a single figure on the campus.
Time soon became seven in the morning.
The deformed gate was still there, but phantoms of students had appeared again on the playground.
The members of Unit 9 wandered around the campus with compressed food in their mouths.
Several groups of students ran in circles around the playground, shouting vague slogans like “one, two, three, four”. More students came from the cafeteria door carrying buns and fritters with tea eggs. The aroma of breakfast made Yin Ren’s nose sour.
The cold beef jerky in his mouth instantly lost its taste. No matter how good the snacks were, they couldn’t compare to a steamed meat bun.
Wasn’t this an escape scenario? Why was the food so tempting?
Yin Ren tried to enter the cafeteria to have a look, but as soon as he arrived at the door, he was stopped by a vague-looking auntie.
“Are you the family member of the new teacher? Don’t you know the rules?” She spoke at the top of her lungs, and her illusory spit almost sprayed on Yin Ren’s face. “Teachers and their family members eat at the faculty cafeteria. This is the student cafeteria. You can’t enter.”
Yin Ren: “……” The experience in this unlucky game was extremely poor.
He returned to the team with a wilted head and sighed.
“It seems that not only is the time here the same as in the real world, but the activities of ‘people’ are also similar.” Zhong Chengshuo ignored the freshly smelling food. “Compared to blindly testing, we need to figure it out…”
“Wait, isn’t that Guo Wei?” Yin Ren suddenly interrupted his partner.
He looked at the door to the cafeteria—Guo Wei had two steamed buns in his hand and was walking with his head down.
This Guo Wei was very much alive, and his facial features were exceptionally clear. Although he didn’t really look “handsome”, he still had the unique youth of a young man.
He walked by the four of them without even looking at them.
The author has something to say:
Snack suitcase vs student cafeteria, snack suitcase failed miserably.
No spoilers! I still remember Kong Wanqing by Daming Lake*, don’t worry (……
*It refers to remembering something from the past. This became a popular catchphrase online, spawning from what Ziwei said to the emperor in “Huan Zhu Ge Ge” (“Your Majesty, do you still remember Xia Yuhe by Daming Lake?”). This is referencing how the emperor played around with Xia Yuhe during his southern tour and promised to take her back to the palace, but never did. Xia Yuhe then gave birth to the emperor’s daughter, Xia Ziwei, who then confronted the emperor later by saying this. || In this context, the author is saying she hasn’t forgotten about Kong Wangqing and reminding readers to not either.
But I feel that everyone may have forgotten the eldest cousin by Daming Lake!
[Mysterious character announces weird rules of the game]
Standard infinite flow*: Analyze the rules for the first time.
*Also known as unlimited flow. Genre in novels characterized by seemingly never-ending flow of survival games, puzzles, or entire worlds, in which the characters have to survive and can return to the real world or retrieve a reward that they desire.
Special Investigation Unit 9: I have come here, and work is urgent. I will continue to look for the cause of the disease.
Guo Wei: ? I’ll turn your brain into erasers so I can play with them.
From this, it can be concluded that this is not an infinite flow (???
I do love infinite flow, and perhaps one day I will pick up a project of that genre.
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One thought on “Evil As Humans Ch71”
Thank for the chapter.