In Virtual Reality
In Virtual Reality 31 ☆ Death Notice (15/25)
Updated: 44 minutes ago
The fish powder had a silky texture and a satisfying chew.
The piquant soup base, served with thin ribbons of sour yellow cabbage, was particularly appetising.
The boneless fish slices glided down her throat and warmed her ravenous belly.
After finishing the last sip of sour cabbage fish soup, Xu Jin Yi rubbed her eyes and packed the takeout bag before lying back on the sofa.
Her previously hazy and painful mind was soothed by the delicious food.
“I think my soul belongs to the god of sour cabbage fish,” Xu Jin Yi thought, somewhat dazed.
It was now 2 o'clock in the afternoon, and she stayed slouched on the sofa for a long time before struggling to get up.
The “Death Notice” game progress was too long, and she estimated it would take a day or two to finish.
Xu Jin Yi hesitated about whether to switch to a shorter game to relax for a bit.
Just then, her phone suddenly vibrated, and Xu Jin Yi received an email.
“Dear loyal player of 'Death Notice,'
Based on your download of our official website's VR remake of the game 'Death Notice', 36 hours have passed since then.
We want to remind you that there is a new event in the VR remake version, and no one has officially passed it yet.
The first participant to pass and upload their evaluation thoughts will receive a VR simulation treadmill! We look forward to your participation!”
“A simulation treadmill!” Xu Jin Yi's eyes lit up.
She had been cooped up at home for the past few days.
Although the game was quite enjoyable, whenever she finished playing and got up, her body would make a terrifying cracking sound.
With a simulation treadmill, she could play a wider variety of VR games and have a more immersive experience.
“Hah, isn't it just being the first to pass?” A sharp glint flashed in the girl's eyes, and a slight smile appeared on her lips.
“It's just a game, after all.
Let me show you how I pass it!”
Upon bidding farewell to her bestie Ah Ma, Qian Qin made her way alone to the classroom of her major on the third floor of the teaching building, specifically room 303.
As she entered the small classroom, she was immediately drawn to a brightly coloured figure in a pink hoodie.
She was taken aback for a moment but collected herself and sat calmly beside the individual.
“Good afternoon, Senior,” she greeted.
Initially resting with closed eyes, the person in the pink hoodie slowly opened their eyes at the sound of the female voice beside them.
“Hello, fellow student Qian” they replied.
Although the individual seemed to recognize her, their response lacked the enthusiasm of their last encounter and came across as relatively flat.
After exchanging greetings, they kept their gaze fixed on the clock above the classroom's blackboard until the bell rang.
Qian Qin then heard a muttering, barely audible:
“Finally, it begins.”
The required course for the Chinese language major was being held in a small classroom.
The ghost teacher walked in from outside and cleared its throat.
Before it could commence with its usual intimidation, a hooded student in the front row interrupted.
“Teacher Marionette (Kui 傀), are we having a quiz today?” The student raised their hand eagerly as though they had just regained their spirit.
This was the first time Teacher Marionette had seen a student actively ask for a quiz, causing it to hesitate momentarily.
“We don't have to do a quiz today…”
“No, teacher, please do it!”
Sitting next to the hooded student, Qian Qin stiffened and listened to their explanation.
“Only by taking a quiz can I know where my knowledge is lacking, Teacher Marionette!”
“Then shall we have a quiz?” Teacher Marionette asked.
The hooded student nodded in satisfaction and stood up.
“Teacher, I'm ready!”
Not only this kind of scene occur in the Chinese language courses, but also in other courses that afternoon.
Qian Qin observed the strange, reserved senior go through all four courses like they were grinding dungeons in a game, breezing through quizzes quickly and charming all four eccentric professors with their suave conversational skills.
In private, the ghostly teacher wiped away its tears and resolved not to give any more surprise quizzes this month or ever reencounter this particular student.
It's important to note that the credits awarded to students are deducted from their salary cards!
“There will be a total of five pop quizzes: four classes, plus the morning session.
Each quiz will have fifty questions.
I currently have…255 credits.”
After class, Qian Qin followed the silent senior and overheard their murmurs.
“For the base cost, 200 credits would suffice,” the senior seemed distressed, “but I don't know how to prepare human flesh*.
What should I do?”
Qian Qin's pupils trembled, and her pace slowed.
“Well…selling noodles is a better idea.
As long as I can earn 500 credits, I can proceed.”
The senior clapped their hands, a smile once again appearing on their face.
Then they suddenly turned and looked directly at Qian Qin, who had come to an urgent stop.
“Qian, do any of your classmates know how to make noodles? Noodles, bread, or any kind of dough food is okay too~?” The reticent senior grinned and spoke, “I'm in dire need of some help right now, very much so, would you be interested?”
Xu Jin Yi was putting in a tremendous effort to rack up study credits, but time was running out.
She could answer a maximum of 50 questions in one class.
Otherwise, the teachers would go nuts and flee – come on, you're NPCs; collapsing before the players is not cool!
The 255 study credits she earned could be invested in the cafeteria.
Once she accumulated 500 credits, she could start selling “Black Coffee”.
Functional drinks not only have restorative and enhancement effects for “game players” but also for ghosts and monsters.
Apart from pre-packaged “functional drinks”, vending machines scattered around the school also contain “coffee powder” bags.
On the PC end, Xu Jin Yi had to fork out 100 study credits to purchase a “functional drink” bottle that would fully replenish her health.
However, a bag of coffee powder only costs 80 study credits.
When mixed with “water”, it could be brewed into “Black Coffee”, which also falls under the “functional drink” category.
On the PC end, she could only concoct one cup, but in VR…who says she can't brew 100 cups?!
She's going to mix the coffee powder with water! She definitely will!
Even if she only sold a single cup of “Black Coffee” for 1 study credit, she could make an additional profit of 20 study credits per bag of coffee powder after considering the cost!
Moreover, making “Black Coffee” doesn't require any technical expertise.
Compared to making noodles or other food items, it's much more straightforward.
“Now all I need is the cafeteria window application form.
I don't know if the student union vice president can get it for me,” said Xu Jin Yi as she squinted her eyes.
If the other person couldn't do it, she would have to find another way.
However, if they were able to get it done…
Then the student union vice president, Little Zhou, was a bigger mystery than she thought.
From Xu Jin Yi's knowledge of the old version of Death Notice, she knew that Dark Virtue University had never had a vice president before, only a student union president who was a junior.
However, the vice president and other student union members all had the same appearance.
There were few juniors like Xu Jin Yi, so she couldn't figure out who the real student union president was.
Maybe the developer team was lazy and might not have even made a character model for the vice president.
The student union meeting room was located on the negative first floor of the teaching building.
After her night exploration of the archive room, Xu Jin Yi planned to search for Little Zhou in the meeting room.
The key to the archive room was in the right-hand drawer of the principal's office.
When Xu Jin Yi went to get the seal and found it missing, she forgot to search the other drawer, so she had to go back again.
“Does the principal's appearance in the promotional video count as the reason?” Xu Jin Yi confidently praised her own actions.
During the day, with many people around, Xu Jin Yi pretended to shoot a promotional video with her phone and smoothly entered the library without anyone daring to stop her.
She then proceeded to make her way to the top floor of the laboratory building.
As usual, she entered the principal's office, typing “0619”.
Shoker, the principal, was nowhere to be found!
Without hesitation, Xu Jin Yi walked directly to the desk, took out the key to the archive room from the right drawer and then turned to open the left drawer where the seal was kept.
The small lock was still hanging open; it was empty inside.
After confirming the seal was still missing, Xu Jin Yi left the office without looking back.
Upon turning a corner on the stairs, she pondered for a moment and decided to stop at the library on the fifth floor, which was also on her way.
Last night, while playing a game, Xu Jin Yi watched the library from the fifth floor through the glass, hoping to find Little Zhou.
However, to her surprise, Little Zhou was on the fourth floor.
Xu Jin Yi was confused about why Little Zhou suddenly came to the fifth floor to find her.
She stood on one side of the square-shaped corridor and peered inside through the glass window.
The area was brighter in the daytime, allowing Xu Jin Yi to see further than at night.
So, she clearly saw Little Zhou searching for something on the bookshelf with her back turned towards her.
Her red shirt was too eye-catching.
Just as she was about to look closer, her phone vibrated, and she received a message.
[Shen Jia: Senior, the pricing at the cafeteria is outrageous.
It costs 10 study hours for just one meat and one vegetable dish.
Xu Jin Yi: “……”
Otherwise, why do you think this school has so few senior students? Ordinary students spend most of their study hours on food, leaving them with inadequate time to participate in final exams, earn credits, and move up.
Feeling somewhat helpless, Xu Jin Yi did not reply and continued to gaze into the library.
Little Zhou had vanished without a trace, but there was no need to worry.
Xu Jin Yi searched the laboratory building one last time but found no evidence of her whereabouts.
During non-class hours, Little Zhou was often found near the library, which Xu Jin Yi believed to be her respawn point.
She suspected there might be valuable clues to her disappearance in the library.
However, as she had not yet received Little Zhou's application letter, she decided not to dig into her secrets for fear of angering her irreparably.
At 11 o'clock that night, Silence led three boys out of the dormitory after curfew.
“We can't use the main entrance,” they warned, “because entering and exiting the dormitory's electronic door with our campus cards will leave a record.
If the dormitory manager finds out, we'll each receive a violation.” Leading them towards a high wall, they continued to explain their plan.
Dressed in appropriate running gear, Xu Qin hesitated, “So we have to climb over it?”
“This wall is quite high; it looks to be about four meters.
Without any tools, climbing would be challenging, right?” asked Shen Jia as the three stood before the imposing structure.
Peng Jia Lang, standing next to him, seemed sceptical.
“I would say it's at least three meters.
But regardless, how are we going to get up there?”
While Shen Jia squinted and calculated the possible ways to climb up, a sudden gust of wind swept by, and a pink-clad figure leapt onto the wall in just two jumps.
“Here, this is how you do it,” the figure called down to them.
Peng Jia Lang stared at Silence on the wall in disbelief.
“How did they manage to climb up so easily?”
Xu Qin, standing beside them, shrugged.
“Don't ask me.
I didn't see it either.”
As the three of them looked up at the figure perched on top of the four-meter-high wall, they fell silent.
Could it be that the pinker the clothes, the more skilled the person is?
Noticing their hesitation, the figure on the wall urged them, “Hurry up, someone will come to patrol after midnight.”
The three looked at each other, unsure of what to do.
“Shen Jia, how about Peng Jia Lang and I make a human ladder to lift you up?” suggested Xu Qin, motioning towards Peng Jia Lang.
Peng Jia Lang didn't waste any words.
He patted Shen Jia's shoulder and whispered, “Don't worry, we've got this!”
Now was not the time for sentimentality, so Shen Jia said nothing more.
With the help of the two of them, he managed to reach the top of the wall.
A hand reached down from above and grabbed his arm firmly.
“Hold on tight and don't dislocate anything,” the voice said.
Then, with a tremendous force, he was lifted and over the wall.
Shen Jia sat on the wall, still in shock from the experience, for a while before he came to his senses.
The second person to climb over was Peng Jia Lang, who was a bit shorter than Xu Qin, so he was worried he might not make it over.
Finally, it was Xu Qin's turn.
He took a few steps back, seemingly trying to challenge the person's method in the hooded sweatshirt.
“Hey, wait a minute!” Silence suddenly spoke up.
Then, turning to the two people still on the wall, they said, “What are you waiting for? Come down already.”
With that, the person took a daring move towards where Xu Qin was.
Just as the two people on the wall were about to reach out and grab them, Silence managed to hook their foot on the wall's edge and dandle upside down.
“Come on, little brother,” the hoodie said with a sly smile as he reached out his hand towards Xu Qin below.
The four-meter-high wall was well within Xu Qin's reach if he jumped a little and could quickly grasp the hoodie's hand.
However, the hesitant young man said, “It's fine, I can manage on my own.”
This kind of action was perilous.
He weighed more than Shen Jia, and his bone structure, which stood over 1.8 meters tall, was not light.
Although climbing a four-meter-high wall was somewhat challenging, he could try a few more times and eventually make it to the top.
There was no need for the hoodie to take such a risk…
The hoodie didn't budge, urging him, “Hurry up.”
“Yes!” Xu Qin agreed and thought, 'Did I agree too quickly?' But Silence was really intimidating when they stopped smiling!
He gritted his teeth, took a step forward, and leapt upwards…
The hoodie's right hand swiftly hooked onto Xu Qin's arm, and then they used their waist and abdomen to force the young man onto the wall.
After Xu Qin had successfully reached the top of the wall, he quickly used his free hand to help the hoodie, only to find they were already sitting comfortably.
Meanwhile, his two companions beside him were still in a daze.
Xu Jin Yi adjusted her sitting posture, having just executed a series of QTEs (quick time events) with perfect ease, her movements flowing smoothly.
She turned her head to face the two remaining NPCs and raised an eyebrow, “Why aren't you going down? Do you want to play 'I Jump, You Jump' with me?”
Silence greeted her question, prompting her to pout in disappointment.
“I'll just jump then.”
Without hesitation, she leapt forward, executing a perfect front flip.
She landed with poise, dusting off her slightly dirty pink hoodie.
Xu Jin Yi turned around, eyeing the three individuals still sitting on the wall.
“…Do you want the senior to give you a hug?”
The three quickly jumped off the wall.
The archive room was situated on the second floor of the teaching building, amid various teachers' offices.
Fortunately, no ghosts were found in the teaching building at night, and the four of them made their way to the door of the archive room without incident.
Using a small key, Xu Jin Yi unlocked the door, and a cloud of dust rushed into their noses.
Despite the discomfort, Shen Jia pulled out his phone and turned on the flashlight.
“Don't turn on the overhead lights,” he cautioned, “We don't want to attract campus patrol.”
With that, he began to search for the files they needed.
Xu Jin Yi maximized the brightness of the VR game, leaving even the game's torch switched off as she swiftly searched through it.
“Find the file area for new students who enrolled in 2222,” she instructed.
The four of them divided their roles and searched the room's four corners.
After about five minutes, Xu Qin exclaimed, “I found Shen Jia's file!”
The other three were taken aback and immediately gathered around to examine Shen Jia's file.
The handwriting was immaculate, with no signs of tampering.
Shen Jia frowned as he looked at his own file.
“Just as I thought,” Xu Jin Yi suddenly chuckled softly.
“Did you decide to redo everything because you were afraid of being caught for making changes?”
Before anyone could react, the person in the hoodie held the file paper close to their face and sniffed it.
“There's a faint metallic scent…it's the exclusive ink of the principal's office.
The person who modified your file went to the principal's office.”
Xu Jin Yi didn't smell anything, but the description of the file paper in her inventory couldn't be falsified.
The faint metallic scent was just like the ink bottle in her inventory.
The person who had tampered with Shen Jia's file had been to the principal's office, perhaps before making the changes, so they only took some ink and probably didn't notice the seal.
However, there was still a flaw in their plan.
Since Shen Jia's file didn't have the Dark Virtue University seal, it became apparent it was tampered with.
Whoever made the alteration had to return to the principal's office.
Xu Jin Yi narrowed her eyes, believing the likelihood of Zhou Xiao Han being the culprit was high.
“Has anyone managed to come across Zhou Xiao Han's file?” she asked.
Shen Jia responded by shaking his head, saying, “I've checked through several files, but I still can't find hers.”
Peng Jia Lang chimed in, “I did find Lin Lian's file, who was also a member of Dorm 503, but it appears she's already passed away.
It seems that she was caught cheating and the teacher ate her on the spot…”
As Peng Jia Lang finished his statement, his expression turned extremely solemn.
With no file found for Zhou Xiao Han and another file existing for a deceased female student, could it be that one was issued a “death notice”.
At the same time, the other was devoured by a monster on the spot?
Xu Jin Yi rubbed her chin and pondered.
Then suddenly, she exclaimed, “Has anyone had a chance to review the student union files? Please check if Vice President Little Zhou's file is there.”
——— Translator's Notes ———
傀: puppet /marionette
“人肉” (rén ròu) literally means “human flesh,” but in this context, it's used metaphorically to refer to the processing of something or someone.
The phrase “让前辈抱抱” (let the senior give you a hug) is a joking reference to the idea of a senior giving a junior a hug for comfort or support, often seen in Chinese dramas or novels.
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