In Virtual Reality
In Virtual Reality 23 ☆ Death Notice (7/25)
Updated: 40 minutes ago
Peng Jia Long's lips quivered like they were stuck with white glue.
Despite wriggling them several times, he couldn't utter a single word.
Hoodie, sitting in the chair, still wore a carefree smile on their face with slightly quivering lashes that obscured their dark pupils.
Being gazed upon by this person was like facing a deep abyss with no bottom in sight.
Peng Jia Long felt his throat constrict, drying up as his already scattered thoughts descended into chaos.
Would he suffer the same fate as Zhou Xiao Han, ensnared by the monster of the student council?
Peng Jia Long was seized by a frantic memory of that early morning – the piercing and then silent screeches from the female student, the putrid stench, the blood flowing down the steps like a waterfall…
Shen Jia kicked Xu Qin, shoving him in front of Peng Jia Long, obstructing the hooded figure's line of sight.
He then positioned himself close to the hooded figure.
The other person raised their head at a leisurely pace, grinning broadly, “Shen classmate?”
“Senior, please don't scare him, my roommate is timid.” As he spoke, he folded the plastic bag in his hand, clutching it tightly.
He pursed his lips and paused for a moment before smiling, “Thank you for your help, senior.
I'd like to keep in touch, if that's alright.
May I ask where your dormitory is?”
As Shen Jia spoke, he noticed Peng Jia Long's face turn ashen with fear.
Despite Hoodie's nonchalant posture, sitting on a chair, the atmosphere in the room had grown tense, palpable to the naked eye.
Although the senior's intentions were unknown, they couldn't ignore the fact that this they were their only hope of understanding this school and finding a way out.
Even if they couldn't become friends, they couldn't afford to make an enemy.
“Could you take a few steps back?” Hoodie asked, rubbing the back of their neck.
“I have a sore neck from looking up.”
Shen Jia obliged, stepping back, and giving Xu Qin a few moments to fill Peng Jia Long in on what had just happened.
Despite Peng Jia Long's legs still feeling weak, he was pulled up by Xu Qin.
Peng Jia Long gaped at Hoodie in disbelief, but at least he managed to keep his composure.
“I was just kidding~!” Hoodie waved their hand in a nonchalant and flirtatious manner, saying, “But it's best not to venture out during lunch break without a valid reason.
The student council is always on the lookout, and there's no escaping if they catch you.” The corners of their mouth curled into a mysterious smile as they added, “You have been warned.”
Of course, if you had a valid reason, you were free to come and go as you pleased! Xu Jin Yi was pleased with this fact.
For example, as a junior student who had not yet been assigned a dormitory, she was justified in taking a tour of her future dwelling in advance.
The identity of a junior student was quite advantageous, in Xu Jin Yi's opinion.
When she first played Death Notice on her PC, her identity was never that of a classic LV.1 Senior Life.
By the time she reached the later stages, she was a boss-level player.
'After all, it was my identity that limited my operation,' Xu Jin Yi thought, as she reflected on her gaming experience.
The VR reset version was much more flexible, and it was clear that the game's production team had put a lot of effort into it.
With a mental nod of approval, Xu Jin Yi started to think about what to do next.
The student unions were not going to give up, but they wouldn't come looking for trouble with a big grin either.
After all, this was still a school, not a black gang.
The most likely approach would be to question higher-ranking vice ministers or ministers.
But that was exactly what she wanted, for the video and recordings she had in her possession had to be handed over to a higher level, one that could rule them out of the student council, before she could do her job.
She needed to find a public place, preferably with some witnesses, to testify.
— How about the canteen?
Xu Jin Yi pondered the bustling canteen where dinner was being served.
The throngs of people made it difficult for even the student council to do anything to her and they could only approach her in a polite manner if they were to hold her accountable.
While lost in thought, NPC [Shen Jia] approached, ready to trigger a storyline with her.
“Senior,” Shen Jia finally approached Hoodie, who, despite appearing dazed, had been attentively observing them the entire time.
“Hmm?” Silence replied, turning their gaze towards Shen Jia.
“School hours points, is there any use for them?”
why do you go to class if you don't know?” Hoodie retorted with a puzzled expression.
Shen Jia cleared his throat and spoke, “Because someone received a death notice for not attending class.”
This served as a cautionary tale to the rest of the students, who were now wary of not attending classes.
However, Hoodie, who seemed to march to the beat of their own drum, didn't seem fazed by the answer and quickly shifted the conversation back to the topic of “school hours”.
“Hour points are a unit of time spent learning,” Silence explained, their fingers tapping the back of their chair in thought.
“In simple terms, for every class you attend, you receive one credit hour.
After classes, the school stores these hours on each student's exclusive campus one-card, which can be used to deduct utility bills and also to purchase meals at the canteen,” they continued with ease, as if they had repeated this information countless times before.
Shen Jia abruptly inquired, “Is it an automatic deduction?”
“Yes, it's automatic,” Hoodie confirmed.
This meant that the dormitory at Dark Virtue University wasn't actually free of water and electricity charges, but rather the fees had been unknowingly paid by the students.
“Additionally, school hours can also be privately traded, such as for substitute classes,” Hoodie added, scowling at Shen Jia and his companions.
“Seems like you didn't know that.
What kind of 'good students' are you?”
Shen Jia: “…”
Thanks, but don't force the 'good student' card on them.
'If credit hours can be used for substitutions,' Shen Jia pondered, 'does that mean other ghost students can be hired for extremely dangerous lessons, such as pop quizzes? Wouldn't than…Yang Jia Ni survived?'
He glanced over at his two companions, who also appeared to be considering this thought, as they remembered the female student who died earlier that day.
“And most importantly…”
Hoodie suddenly paused, furrowing their brows and scrutinizing the three individuals before them.
Shen Jia finally understood Peng Jia Long's discomfort from earlier.
Hoodie was completely different when they were smiling compared to when they weren't.
Being stared at by someone who seemed dangerous and unpredictable, Shen Jia felt chills run down his spine and goosebumps arise.
Unable to resist, he stammered, “Se-senior, senior…?”
He was taken aback by the tremble in his own voice.
Hoodie emitted a noncommittal grunt, their expressionless face revealing nothing of their thoughts.
Xu Jin Yi's thoughts were in a whirlwind as she pondered over the situation.
She had originally believed that she had found a way to exploit the VR remake, becoming a powerful third-year student.
But now, as she looked at the new NPC in front of her, she was starting to doubt herself.
The NPC, Shen Jia, was too similar to the protagonist of the PC version of the game, and the only difference was that in the VR version, Shen Jia had many other classmates with him.
Could it be that her identity in the game had changed from [Game Protagonist] to [Game Guide]?
Xu Jin Yi was filled with excitement at the thought.
She had been blown away by the innovations of [Screaming Haunted House], but now [Death Notice] had come up with an idea that would change her role in the school.
She was grateful and looked forward to being involved in similar VR-ized games in the future.
From a struggling freshman, to a seasoned junior after two years of hardship, now experiencing a similar new beginning they did two years ago now as an observer – it was like a tale of [light and redemption] (光与救赎).
Xu Jin Yi managed to rein in her rampant thoughts, preventing them from spiraling out of control.
If fate had not led her down the path of the junior student, she and Shen Jia would now be classmates, facing the same trials and tribulations, working together to overcome the difficulties of their schooling.
The game was designed for them to embark on this journey together, but Xu Jin Yi chose to depart from the novice script.
She didn't regret it.
A billion-point fear tour and hundred million bug points were not earned for nothing.
With a sigh of admiration for the efforts of the planning team, Xu Jin Yi, who now felt as if she had uncovered the truth, cast her gaze once again upon Shen Jia.
The scowl dissipated, and Shen Jia noticed a change in Hoodie.
He couldn't quite put his finger on what it was, but it made him wary nonetheless.
Despite Hoodie's assistance, Shen Jia knew that as a junior student at Dark Virtue University, he couldn't be trusted fully.
Suddenly, Silence spoke up, “You guys are new freshmen, right?” The words interrupted Shen Jia's thoughts and he heard Hoodie ask, “So, are you living people, or are you ghosts?”
The question left Shen Jia confused and uncertain.
Did Hoodie mean what he thought he did? Was it a trick?
Shen Jia's breathing grew heavy, and he could hear his heartbeat pounding in his ears.
He coughed to clear his throat, but before he could say anything, he felt a tap on his back.
It was Xu Qin, neither he nor Peng Jia Long said anything.
Was it fear, suspicion, or simply not knowing how to respond that kept them quiet?
Were they waiting for his answer? The trust that Xu Qin and Peng Jia Long had placed in him was palpable, filling Shen Jia with warmth, even as he felt a bitter smile tug at the corners of his lips.
He knew that he had no choice but to answer, for the sake of himself and the other survivors.
“Living,” he answered after a fit of coughing.
Mustering up the courage, he asked Hoodie, “So, Senior, are you a living person or a ghost?”
Hoodie smiled and replied, “I'm human, of course.” He leaned back in his chair, his dark, shining eyes fixed on Shen Jia and the others as he welcomed them with open arms, “Although it sounds a little late, welcome to Dark Virtue University, my dear classmates~.”
Shen Jia's hunch was right.
Hoodie was on the same side as the 37 of them.
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