Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 3: Eyes Facing Each Other
When Shu Jun woke up for the second time, he was met with a hungry stomach. The sky in the erosion zone was always overcast. The fog on the ground hadn’t dissipated, and the surroundings were as quiet as an old cemetery.
He yawned. The inside of his lips tingled, and the taste of blood filled his mouth.
Shu Jun frowned and touched the wound. Another problem was exposed—his canine teeth had become a bit sharp. If he really bit the mutant beast last night, he might actually be able to tear through its throat.
Yesterday’s mood was mostly helpless, but now, Shu Jun felt a bit of anger. There were more abnormalities in front of him, but there had been no feedback from the outside world for nearly 24 hours. <Erosion> shouldn’t have such a low-level problem.
His protective equipment was completely broken, and the physical and energy data were unknown. The air quality here was acceptable, but it was still in the scope of the erosion zone. He didn’t know what the consequences of dying in the game would be, so it was better to leave as soon as possible.
Shu Jun crawled out of the cave and began to move in the direction of the NPC stronghold.
Now that his condition was stable and his physical strength had recovered a little, he began to try to activate his skills. The originally calm air became turbulent, and the familiar whistling wind rushed into his ears. Since there was no problem with his skills and the stronghold wasn’t far away, even if he encountered an elite monster, he still had the ability to escape.
‘A beautiful vacation was just ahead,’ Shu Jun thought as he quickened his pace.
According to last night’s estimate, it would only take about six hours to reach that stronghold. The situation was smoother than he expected. There were no dangerous monsters on the road, and before he left the stone forest, human voices came from not far away.
Two NPC soldiers were patrolling nearby.
Shu Jun raised his hands in surprise and greeted them loudly. “I’m Shu Jun, captain of the Blackbirds, number S-001. Please take me to your stronghold. Also, if it’s convenient, can you lend me a communicator…”
Before he finished speaking, a bullet passed by, followed by a burning sensation on his ear. The gunfire didn’t stop. As a seasoned fighter, Shu Jun subconsciously manipulated the wind, and the sudden wind quickly pushed him away.
If he had been slower by half a second, the ensuing rain of bullets would have turned him into a sieve.
The fingers on his right hand twitched twice instinctively. Shu Jun gritted his teeth—the weight that should’ve accompanied him wasn’t in his hands. There was no greatsword and no mechanical armor—there were only tattered clothes that covered his shame* and provided no defense at all.
*Figuratively, as in his privates.
But no matter how embarrassing his image was, the NPC should always recognize him as an individual. This kind of offensive intensity was simply unreasonable. Shu Jun had to use his limbs like a real beast and hide himself behind a boulder. <Erosion> had emphasized many times that attacking NPCs would have serious penalties, so it wasn’t time to take risks.
“Hey!” Shu Jun raised his voice. “Stop attacking. I need to contact the game administrator—emergency contact code 4072…”
However, the patrols didn’t plan to let him finish.
He didn’t know what weapon the other side took out, but the boulder was directly shattered. Shu Jun planned to create some distance again but found that he couldn’t move.
There was a faint light shining under his feet. He recognized this thing. It was a top-tier hunting net used to capture large, elite monsters, and its price was quite staggering. The Blackbirds were one of the largest teams in <Erosion> and the number of top-tier hunting nets in their warehouse didn’t exceed three.
God knew how these NPCs had this kind of thing.
Faced with this thing, if he had equipment, he could still fight. Unfortunately, at the moment, Shu Jun was bare-handed and close to naked. The claws at his fingertips could tear fibers, but when the hunting net wrapped tightly around him, his struggle became futile.
A current flickered along the net, causing Shu Jun to arch his back. He forcibly tried to retain his consciousness under the continuous electric shocks as he tried to tear through the net.
“You’re seriously violating the ‘VR Game Management Regulations’—ah—”
Seeing that he was tearing too fiercely, the restraints bound his limbs tighter and gagged his mouth. Shu Jun became like a flopping fish caught in a net and could only raise his middle finger at the two NPCs.
“It’s still the same as before. Maybe the machine is broken.”
The NPCs ignored him and spat out some words behind their gas masks.
“Take it back first. This kind of… thing has never appeared before.”
Judging from the results, Shu Jun entered the stronghold earlier than expected. It was just that instead of stepping through the doors with his own feet, he was pushed into a metal cage and transported in on a cart.
The metal cage bars were thicker than his wrist.
This was no longer a problem that could be solved by complaints. After he successfully withdrew from the game, he would find a lawyer—the prison cell was as narrow as a cargo box; certainly not as good as the cave he was hiding in before. Shu Jun’s limbs were firmly chained to the wall in an extremely uncomfortable position.
The group of NPCs didn’t even bother to give him some decent clothing.
Shu Jun looked around. The ground was wet without even a speck of dust that could be blown up. The cell observation window was made of reinforced glass, and two heavily armed guards stood on either side.
The pale white light poured down from the top of his head, and through the accumulated water on the ground, Shun Jun saw his current appearance clearly for the first time.
The game character was 100% true in line with reality, so his facial features hadn’t changed. His body was perfectly toned, and there were no strange blood vessels protruding or overly swollen muscles at the moment.
Not to mention the sharpened teeth and nails for the time being, the biggest change was his hair and eyes.
Shu Jun originally had normal black hair and eyes, but now his hair and eyes had turned ash-like gray, and his round pupils were lined with thin cracks. He had never seen anyone with a similar appearance, but at least he still looked human and not like a grotesque mutant beast. The NPC’s attitude was really suspicious.
He had to find a way to escape.
This place was similar to the cage where dangerous monsters were held in the game setting. Smoke was a meticulous strategist. After being inculcated for a long time, Shu Jun also had some understanding of this strange equipment. Such cages were usually equipped with physiological monitoring devices, so faking death or pretending to be sick was unlikely to be effective. His condition was already bad, and the longer he dragged it out, the more unfavorable it would become.
Shu Jun glanced at the surrounding surveillance cameras and suddenly had an idea. The wind swirled and violently twisted the camera off its bracket. The glass of the cell was smashed and rattled, and sirens blared incessantly.
The defense mechanism was immediately activated.
At first, it was an anesthesia bomb, but it was deflected by the wind and failed to hit Shu Jun. Then came the live ammunition. Shu Jung pulled up the chains on his wrist and barely managed to block his critical areas, though there were a few blood holes in his arms and shoulders.
The blood dripped and turned pitch black the moment it touched the ground.
At this moment, Shu Jun didn’t have time to observe the ground as there were more anomalies in front of him—was his ability always this strong?
The broken camera was thrown around by the wind like a large bullet and almost hit Shu Jun several times. It slammed against the observation window, leaving a spider web-like crack in the tempered glass. The chain-fixing bolt let out a shrill sound as Shu Jun tore off the chains.
Shu Jun was aware of his own physical strength. He didn’t have the energy to do such a feat again.
He took a breath and pulled the chain out with all his strength, hitting the center where the glass cracked. Shards of glass scattered around amidst the cracking sound. Shu Jun gathered the wind at his feet and ejected himself out of the cell.
The guards tried to stop him, but one was knocked out with his elbow while the other was kicked away. The two guards fell unconscious and slumped to the ground.
The entire process took no more than half a minute.
He went against his ban on attacking NPCs that he had compromised earlier since he found that it was pointless.
Not wanting to leave any room for hesitation, Shu Jun quickly stripped off the clothes of one of the guards, picked up the spoils, and ran. Before anyone arrived, the nearby surveillance and lighting were completely destroyed by the violent storm.
The NPC’s standard clothing didn’t fit him well. It was a little tight in the shoulders and a little loose in the waist, but it wasn’t a big deal.
In <Erosion>, the player’s residence was located in a stronghold on the edge of the contaminated areas. The structure of this stronghold was much the same, so it wasn’t difficult to find an escape route. But before escaping, he had to get some supplies first and also try to find a way to contact the outside world.
Since this was the cell floor, there had to be a lounge for the guards to change shifts nearby.
There was no time for him to breathe a sigh of relief. The alarm hadn’t reached its highest level yet, so it was prime time for action. Shu Jun braced himself and moved quickly down the corridor.
The lounge was empty.
Shu Jun swept all the gadgets he could use into his pockets and then turned on the contact light screen on the table. In response to unexpected situations, <Erosion> issued emergency contact codes to all players. As long as they reported the string of numbers to an NPC, an out-of-game customer service representative would intervene. Unfortunately, based on the situation not long ago, it seemed that the NPC route could be considered useless.
40721. A string of numbers flashed in the input box. Time moved slowly forward, but no customer service representative appeared.
Shu Jun quickly entered the team channel, but no one was online. Opening his friend list only showed all the names grayed out.
Wait. Someone’s name lit up. The system showed that the other party was online, and the waiting interface displayed the map and the location of where they were. The geometric patterns used for decoration changed around the map.
…Smoke was nearby.
Strange. Shu Jun raised his brows. Smoke always stayed in the inner city, out of the reach of combatants, and had never appeared in a border stronghold. Due to their distance from each other, the game never gave an exact location. Shu Jun always defaulted that he or she was a casual player.
How could a casual place run to such a place?
But since Smoke was nearby, it was better to go and meet first—the current situation was really abnormal, and a friend around him would make things feel more at ease. Since his account was abnormal, Smoke may be able to contact the outside world normally.
The game wasn’t reality, but there was no difference between the game character and the real person. Shu Jun smiled bitterly, thinking that this first meeting was quite embarrassing.
According to the positioning displayed, the point belonging to “Smoke” was moving to a certain room on the top floor. Shu Jun dexterously jumped out of the window and climbed to the top floor with the help of his wind.
“You should go back first.” An anxious voice rushed into his ears first.
“That thing ran out, and its erosion index hasn’t been determined. If the situation changes, this stronghold will probably be locked down. You just arrived here, and the special car hasn’t left yet, so it’s better you leave now.”
“I said, no need.”
The voice that responded was cold and sounded a bit familiar. Shu Jun grabbed the edge of the windowsill. The curtains completely obscured the indoor scene, and the sound inside wasn’t very clear.
Smoke’s location was just a few steps away.
…Looking at the frame, was Smoke an assistant to some bigshot?
The positioning stopped by the window, only a few steps away from Shu Jun. In order to hear more clearly, Shu Jun held his breath and climbed up the windowsill. The mutated nails made this a lot easier.
“In short, find it first. If I stay here, it’ll heighten your sense of alertness,” the cold voice continued. “I brought a lot of special equipment. There’s no way the entire base can’t catch a single mutant.”
The sound was getting closer, giving Shu Jun a bad feeling.
The person in the room opened the curtain. The two looked at each other as their gazes met.
The anxious persuader was standing at the door, so there was only one person in front of the window, who was obviously not the casual player Shu Jun had guessed—the NPC in the uniform of the Marshal was staring directly at him; a trace of bewilderment flashed across his pale face.
Zhu Yanchen: “……”
Shu Jun: “……?”
Are the bugs in <Erosion> getting more serious?
The author has something to say:
The prologue is over (^ρ^)/
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2 thoughts on “Access Denied Ch3”
Thank you for the update ❤️💯
meeting pretty fast~