In Virtual Reality
“The definition and connotation of mechanical engineering…”
Shen Jia's brain was working frantically, and fragments of memory drifted down like confetti falling from the sky.
“Mechanical engineering is an applied discipline that draws upon relevant natural and technical sciences, combined with practical experience in production, to investigate and tackle the theoretical and practical challenges encountered in the development, design, manufacturing, installation, operation, and repair of a wide range of mechanical processes…”
“And what about its connotations, Shen?” pressed his teacher.
At that moment, Shen Jia could only think that he had nothing of depth to offer.
The fragments of memories flashing through his mind were only enough to allow him to regurgitate the definition.
He just hoped that this monster teacher would leave at least half his body intact by the end of their encounter.
He pursed his lips.
The apparition drew closer, and Shen Jia could see the torn flesh on its cheek.
As the gaps in its jaws widened, more and more tiny mouths appeared, their skin stretched taut and shredded…
—It wanted tobite his head off!
“The mechanical engineering curriculum prioritizes the study of 'Mechanical Engineering,' cultivating professionals who can adapt to national development needs, demonstrate well-rounded personal character and intellectual and physical abilities, and master the fundamental theories and specialized knowledge of mechanical design and manufacturing, production management, equipment maintenance, and quality control.
They possess strong practical and innovative capabilities, enabling them to engage in a wide variety of work, such as product development and manufacturing, quality inspection, equipment management and maintenance, operation management, technology promotion, marketing, and more.”
Just in time, a voice echoed through the large classroom, saving Shen Jia's skull from being gnawed who could even smell the lingering aroma of blood in the teacher's mouth!
The ghostly teacher hesitated, then swiftly pulled back its head and turned towards the direction of a sound.
Shen Jia tried to remain composed as he suppressed his trembling hands and shifted his gaze in the same direction.
A familiar pink hoody came into view.
Shen Jia was taken aback at first, but then breathed a sigh of relief and completely relaxed.
Although it wasn't ideal, seeing them made him feel particularly at ease.
The person in the pink hoody was seated in the front row of the classroom and smiled, waving at him while mouthing the word “Hi~”.
“Excuse me, this student,” the ghostly teacher walked up to the pink hoody in the front row with the sound of crisp high heels clicking, “you seem to be doing very well in your studies?”
The person in the pink hoody blinked.
“Of course, Teacher Autumn (季 Ji), your lectures are especially engaging!”
The ghostly teacher, who had originally come to reprimand, paused.
“Is that so?”
“Absolutely! Look at how attentively the students in the class are listening! I believe you are the most exceptional teacher of this semester!” Silence gave a thumbs-up.
Shen Jia, who was still standing at a distance, thought for a moment: why did this sentence sound so familiar?
…Didn't the pink hoody say this to Teacher Sophora too?
After hearing the title “outstanding teacher,” just like Teacher Sophora before, the ghostly teacher couldn't help but feel delighted.
“Oh my, oh my, this student really has an eye for talent!”
It unconsciously raised its head and puffed out its chest, trying to look like the exemplary teacher it was supposed to be.
“Although you disrupted the teacher's quiz, since you have such good judgement, as the future outstanding teacher of this semester, Teacher Autumn won't punish you this time~!”
Teacher Autumn raised his hand and flashed a genial smile, “Shen, please take a seat,” it instructed the student, who obediently settled into his desk.
As Teacher Autumn pivoted to commence the new lesson, a perceptive voice piped up from behind it, “Teacher, is this truly appropriate?”
Taken aback, Teacher Autumn swivelled around to face the student who had spoken.
“What seems to be the issue?” it inquired.
The student, clad in a hoodie, propped their chin up and spoke with a half-smile that betrayed a hint of mockery.
“Teacher Autumn, as an exceptional educator at our esteemed Dark Virtue University, how can you be so lax when it comes to administering professional quizzes? The best teachers don't just demand rigour from their pupils, but from themselves as well.
By neglecting the professional quiz in this manner, aren't you being irresponsible to your teaching career and to the future of your students in this field? If they don't derive inspiration from their knowledge, how can they shine as the next generation of intellectuals for our university?”
Teacher Autumn's perplexity only deepened.
Weren't students typically averse to quizzes? What was with this particular pupil? Had they mutated in some way?
The student in the hoodie heaved a sigh, appearing distraught.
But after a brief moment, they resolved to speak up once more, raising their hand in a decisive gesture and fixing a sincere gaze upon Teacher Autumn.
“Teacher Autumn, let me collaborate with you and excel in this quiz!”
Surveying the unfamiliar face before it and hearing the earnest tone of the student's voice, Teacher Autumn felt a warm surge of emotion wash over it.
There had been a time when it, too, had yearned to impart knowledge to his pupils and nurture them diligently, like a gardener tending to its flowers.
But now, as it looked out at the sea of students assembled before it, how many could still be counted on to engage their minds and think critically? How many had truly listened to its lectures with undivided attention?
Yet this student was different.
Not only had they lauded Teacher Autumn's instruction as stimulating and engaging, but they could also discern the passion that burned within the teacher's heart! Even after discovering that Teacher Autumn had not taken the professional quiz seriously, the pupil had not rescinded their approval of the teacher.
On the contrary, they wished to join forces with it in the noble endeavour of imparting knowledge!
'What a splendid student!' exclaimed Teacher Autumn in thoughts while holding its long, slender fingers to its chin, which was about to fall off due to excitement, and shedding a tear.
“Very well…I promise you! Student, you are the finest student I've ever taught!”
The student in the hoodie chimed in, “Teacher, let's go! Let's rekindle our love for knowledge!”
Teacher Autumn's spirit was stirred.
“Very well, my student!”
As they pashinetly looked into each others eyes, Shen Jia watched as his misfortune turned into good luck.
His expression went through several changes until he finally could not control himself and revealed a naivly dumfounded look.
Xu Jin Yi retrieved her dusty, thick tome from the study, which contained the strategies she had created years ago for “Death Notice,” including the questions and answers for various professional quizzes.
At that time, she had written several volumes, and by the end, she could recite them all backwards.
But times have changed.
There were too many professional categories, and Xu Jin Yi could not remember the answers to the quizzes for different majors.
However, thanks to her penmanship, she could simply refer to her guide.
The thick, green volume was placed on the coffee table.
Xu Jin Yi wiped the cover with a few sheets of paper before flipping it open.
The densely written notes recorded Xu Jin Yi's passion for “Death Notice” at the time.
She softened her gaze, found the quiz answers for “Mechanical Engineering” in the index she had created, and said to herself, “Excellent, the strategy is now ready!”
“Teacher Autumn, how come the quiz only comprises of five questions? Perhaps I was simply fortunate to guess the correct answers!”
“Is that so? Nevertheless, it doesn't appear to be the case…”
“Teacher Autumn, it's important to perceive the underlying truth beyond appearances!”
“Well, should we proceed with a few additional questions then? This student, kindly listen to the following inquiry: Which materials are included in the realm of mechanical engineering?”
“Dear student, that's more than sufficient.
You have successfully responded to twenty questions, and I am confident that your accomplishment is not solely due to luck.”
“But teacher, it's possible that the questions were too straightforward.
They don't really examine my true level of knowledge.
Teacher Autumn, could we make the quiz more challenging?”
“Truly, that's quite enough,” Teacher Autumn had stood tall and confident initially, but after being dealt a several blows, it now sat at the podium with a dazed expression resembling a frost-bitten eggplant.
Its hands were folded against its forehead as it avoided meeting the increasingly excited gaze of 'that' student.
a whole fifty questions…”
Teacher Autumn's voice barely registered above a whisper: “You, my dear student, have responded to fifty questions correctly.
You see beyond the surface and recognize your true abilities.
You are a diligent and excellent student with a deep reservoir of knowledge.”
“The teacher believes me, the teacher truly believes in me!”
In just twenty short minutes, Shen Jia observed Teacher Autumn's transformation from a calm and collected figure to a panicked individual who ultimately surrendered and fell apart.
Shen Jia was no longer concerned about Silence but instead swallowed his anxieties.
Hoodie, on the other hand, was eager to continue, “We're not finished yet, are we, teacher? Class is not over yet…”
Suddenly, the bell rang, and Teacher Autumn, on the verge of collapse, jolted awake and scrambled to gather its course materials and textbooks.
“Class is over, over, over!”
Xu Jin Yi, with a hint of regret, closed her bulky green book and cheerfully called out, “Remember to give me credit hours, Teacher Autumn! Farewell, Teacher Autumn~!”
For the first time, the ghostly teacher fled the classroom faster than its students after class.
The silent and rigid regular ghost students got up in a rustle and left for the exit.
Soon, only Shen Jia and Xu Jin Yi remained in the vast room.
Holding “Mechanical Engineering” tightly, Shen Jia quickly approached Xu Jin Yi and bowed deeply, “Thank you, senior.”
“It's nothing, it's nothing.” Xu Jin Yi couldn't stop grinning when she thought of the quiz.
why did you voluntarily take a quiz in class?” Shen Jia looked at the other's beaming face and hesitantly inquired, “Does the quiz relate to credit hours?”
Xu Jin Yi winked at him, looking thrilled.
“Answering one question correctly earns you one credit hour.
I answered fifty questions, so that's fifty credit hours.
I was lucky indeed~”
Shen Jia, who almost got his head bitten off, was taken aback by the senior's cunning plan.
“Is that so? Hahaha, congratulations senior.”
To earn study hours, one must answer questions correctly, as getting them wrong could result in losing their life!
Meanwhile, Shen Jia was a little puzzled by Xu Jin Yi's presence.
“But isn't the senior not majoring in Chinese language? Why is he here?” he asked.
The senior Xu Jin Yi, who was wearing a hoodie, flipped her campus card with her slender and beautiful fingers and occasionally flashed a smile.
“Young man, have you ever heard of auditing classes?” she replied, slyly grinning.
“I only earn one study hour for a class.
But if I'm lucky enough to run into a quiz during an audit class, I can earn a fortune!”
If that was the case, Shen Jia also wanted to demonstrate his skills in his major.
But he wasn't majoring in mechanical engineering!
Meanwhile, Xu Jin Yi in the PC version of the game, she couldn't audit classes outside her major.
However, the VR remake was more flexible with this setting, allowing her to take advantage of it and get unexpected results.
If she could operate a food window in the cafeteria, she would need capital for procurement and operation.
Unfortunately, Xu Jin Yi's campus card had not earned a single study hour since she entered school, and she could only use the most basic function of the campus card, which was to open the electronic door to her dormitory.
Now, she could use auditing classes and quizzes to accumulate capital.
Pleased with her clever thinking, Xu Jin Yi patted herself on the back.
At noon, before going to the cafeteria to eat, Shen Jia once again realized that the senior in the hoodie had disappeared.
After sending a message to the senior on their chat platform, he quickly went to eat.
However, something felt strange today as no members of the student union came to inspect the cleanliness of the dormitories.
Later, when he inquired in the chat group, he learned that the dormitory inspection would not take place for the remaining days of the month.
The reason was that the dormitory management department of the student union was undergoing reform by the school.
Xu Jin Yi stayed up playing until the sun hung in the sky before retiring for the night.
Before retiring, she cast a glance at the mirror in front of the washstand and was taken aback – had a paranormal incident occurred in her home?!
Her dark circles had almost fallen to her cheeks, and Xu Jin Yi didn't dare to dally.
She swiftly went to bed to slumber.
Nevertheless, she didn't sleep for long.
Her circadian rhythm, which she had maintained for an extended period, was challenging to alter in a short time.
After snoozing for three to four hours, Xu Jin Yi massaged her head and sat up in a haze.
…She was mistaken.
Even if she slept late, the nightmarish dreams of fleeing and murder lingered, and she couldn't escape them.
Xu Jin Yi began to question if these escape and killing nightmares were one-sided and fixated on her.
“Thank you, but I don't want to be fixated like this!” she exclaimed.
Her stomach began to rumble, and Xu Jin Yi got up to check her appearance in the mirror after waking up.
'Well…how should I put this? I've transformed from a female ghost into a zombie,' she thought.
It was an improvement, but it still wasn't satisfactory.
She decided not to venture outside and scare people with her appearance.
Xu Jin Yi sighed, slipped on her slippers, and sauntered to the living room.
She collapsed onto the plush cushion and reclined.
“Let's order some takeout,” she said.
She pondered what to eat…
“Fish powder!” she exclaimed.
As soon as she thought of this term, Xu Jin Yi's mind couldn't help but imagine the color and aroma of fish powder.
After placing her order, a delivery rider promptly accepted the job.
After more than twenty minutes, the doorbell of Xu Jin Yi's home rang.
She quickly got up to open the door —
“Good day, this is the fish powder with pickled vegetables that you requested.
Please enjoy…” The delivery driver's greeting was cut short as he shook the hand that held the food bag.
As he waited for the customer to take the order, the door in front of him creaked open, revealing a woman.
But to his surprise, she was not an ordinary woman but a female ghost!
Her disheveled shoulder-length hair, coupled with her unnaturally pale face and dark circles under her eyes, made her appearance all the more striking.
Her lifeless eyes gazed at the delivery driver, and her slender hand reached out to take the food.
“Please give me the delivery,” she said, her voice sounding like it came from the underworld.
The delivery driver wasn't sure if it was his imagination, but the voice seemed to chill him to the bone.
“W-w-wish you a good meal!” he stammered, as he handed the food bag to Xu Jin Yi, the customer.
With lightning speed, he scurried out of her sight range, obviously scared by the ghostly apparition.
Xu Jin Yi stood silently, holding the delivery bag, as she watched the delivery driver disappear from view.
She sighed, feeling helpless, and then closed the door.
She couldn't blame the delivery guy for being scared, given her current appearance.
Xu Jin Yi thought to herself, 'I should give the delivery driver a five-star rating later.' However, she couldn't help but wonder, 'But would he think it was a good rating coming from a female ghost?'
——— Translator's Notes ———
The term “鬼怪老师” (guǐ guài lǎo shī) refers to a ghostly or monstrous teacher, which is a supernatural concept often used in Chinese folklore and media.
“季” Ji = which means “season” or “period”.
It can also refer to the late autumn season.
“Fish powder” (鱼粉, yú fěn) is a popular dish in Chinese cuisine, especially in the southern regions of China.
It is a type of rice noodle soup made with fish broth and served with various toppings, such as fish slices, pickled vegetables, peanuts, and scallions.
The dish is known for its light and refreshing taste, and is often eaten as a breakfast or a late-night snack.
“Pickled vegetables” refers to the sour and spicy pickled cabbage that is commonly eaten with the dish.
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