In Virtual Reality
In Virtual Reality 33 ☆ Death Notice (17/25)
Updated: 1 hour ago
On this particular night, the unfolding events could be described as nothing short of heart-stopping.
Three young men stood gasping for air within room 412 in the boy's dormitory.
Xu Jin Yi leaned against the door, ostensibly browsing through her phone but secretly monitoring the progress of the three newcomers to her team.
Xu Jin Yi took note of their vital signs in NPC profiles.
[Shen Jia] and [Xu Qin] had sustained some injuries, but their health bars weren't yet in dire straits.
On the other hand, NPC [Peng Jia Lang] had lost over half of his sanity (SAN), with his blue bar depleting to a worrisome shade of yellow.
Raising her head, Xu Jin Yi surveyed the young man who had collapsed on the floor as if in a daze.
Despite Xu Qin's attempts to rouse him, the young man remained unresponsive, shuddering as if chilled.
Shen Jia pushed him lightly, causing Peng Jia Lang to let out a terrified scream and shrink back, muttering to himself.
can't get out ……”
“Even she's ……”
“I'm going to die, I'm going to die ……”
As Xu Jin Yi watched the subtitles that appeared on the screen, she couldn't help but notice the ominous depletion of Peng Jia Lang's (SAN), which seemed to be dwindling at an alarming rate.
“His SAN value is dangerously low,” she mused, stroking her chin thoughtfully.
Seeing Peng Jia Lang in his current state left Xu Jin Yi powerless.
Shen Jia overheard his comment and asked, “What is SAN value?”
“In short, he's on the verge of insanity,” she replied and raised her hands in resignation, “What a pity.
Crazy people die fast around here, don't they?.”
Lowering her head, Xu Jin Yi's gaze swept over Peng Jia Lang's trembling form, causing him to shrink back in fear.
“Don't worry too much; after living here for too long, going crazy is just a matter of time.” With a strange smile, the words she spoke at that moment sounded highly eerie.
Shen Jia couldn't help but look at her with suspicion and confusion.
What did she mean by 'going crazy is just a matter of time?'
“Don't look at me like that,” she continued, her lips curling up melancholicly.
“Back when I was a freshman, I used to lose my mind all the time.”
Xu Jin Yi remembered how her game character would often lose control, and her blue bar would completely deplete, leaving only a sliver of red.
Her commands would be reversed, and her character would start brawling with NPCs like a drunkard, resulting in an expected GAME OVER.
She didn't know how many times she had died due to the “sanity” setting in the game.
Initially, she didn't know that going out at night would consume her sanity points.
She would go out a few times every night, and her sanity value would instantly hit rock bottom.
It wasn't until later that she discovered that “going out at night consumes sanity”.
The first few times, she thought her keyboard was malfunctioning.
But back then, it took her five trips outside at night to reach the bottom of her sanity bar…
The NPC lacked willpower completely.
As Xu Jin Yi was reminiscing about her lost youth, Shen Jia was shocked by her words: What do you mean by “going crazy multiple times”? Can this thing keep bouncing back and forth?!
At that moment, his expression turned just as ominous.
“He's okay now; a good sleep will fix him,” Xu Jin Yi saved her game, found her bed and, unfazed by the trembling Peng Jia Lang on the ground, stepped over him to climb into bed.
She clicked on the “interact” button before adding, “Tomorrow will be better~.”
She closed her eyes and appeared to have already fallen asleep.
“Will a good night's rest really solve everything??”
Shen Jia had doubts, but now there seemed to be no way around it.
He and Xu Qin discussed it and lifted Peng Jia Lang onto a chair.
As the bed was high, it was impossible to force a person who was frightened and scared to lie down on it.
Sitting on the chair was a feasible option.
The two looked at the time, realizing it was already late.
They tidied up and went to bed.
Xu Jin Yi archived the game and skipped directly from night to day.
She got up and went to the kitchen to get snacks from the refrigerator during the loading time.
The silver refrigerator was wide open, and Xu Jin Yi frowned as she took out a bottle of lychee soda before closing it.
There weren't many snacks left.
Should she go to the supermarket in a few days to restock?
But it was already August, and school would start in September.
It wasn't necessary to buy too much, right?
'Snacks! How can I live without snacks!'
She kicked off her slippers and twisted off the bottle cap, sipping the soda.
The icy and sweet lychee soda passed through her mouth, throat, and stomach, relieving her slightly overheated body.
Lying on the couch with a cool pad, Xu Jin Yi continued playing her game.
As the bright light of daybreak flooded the dormitory, Xu Jin Yi rose from her bed to find that her roommates had already departed for their classes, leaving her alone.
She checked her phone and felt a buzz, opening it to see a friend request from someone named “Ah Ma.”
[Hello, senior,] the message read.
[I am Ah Ma, the dormitory leader of building 2, room 502.
As you requested last time, we've found some students who can make noodles.
What should I do next?]
Before Xu Jin Yi could reply, two more messages arrived, this time from different senders.
She scrolled through them quickly, finding one from her teacher and another from a student.
Ms Sophora: [Dear student, nothing should be uncomfortable after entering school, right? I hope you can enjoy campus life well in the new semester.]
This message should have been sent to everyone.
Xu Jin Yi skipped over it and looked at the other one –
I've put your application in the dormitory management office in the boy's dormitory.
Please pick it up in a timely manner.]
Little Zhou…Zhou Xiao Han.
Did she really stamp it?
But once the application was down, the plan for the cafeteria could start today.
Xu Jin Yi sent a [Cheers to our friendship.GIF] to Little Zhou and replied to Ah Ma: [Take the students to the cafeteria entrance and wait for me.]
After checking her belongings and finding nothing missing, Xu Jin Yi descended the stairs and went to the dormitory office.
There, she found a thin piece of paper with the red stamp of Dark Virtue University on it, confirming that her application had been approved.
Xu Jin Yi ignored the terrifying face staring at her through the glass window and grabbed the paper.
She touched the stamp gently, leaving a small red smudge on her finger.
Where had Little Zhou kept the stamp, she wondered.
Had she carried on her or left it in a safe place, like the library?
Lost in thought, Xu Jin Yi arrived at the cafeteria to find an unexpected sight.
“…” she counted silently, her face expressionless.
“…Fifteen people? Is this the help you found?”
Ah Ma retained her cheerful and upbeat demeanour, styling her hair in a ponytail.
Upon hearing the words, she acknowledged them with a nod.
She whispered, “I was apprehensive you might not have enough students, so I summoned all those who had no classes this morning.”
Qian Qin stood to the side, quickly introducing the male and female students to Silence.
Ah Ma asked in a hushed voice, “Is it too many? Should I request some of them to leave?”
Xu Jin Yi stroked her chin and stopped her, saying, “No need for that.
More people actually make it more convenient.”
She motioned Ah Ma over, her smile carrying a tinge of mystery, and whispered, “Come here; I'll tell you something fun.”
As the two chattered, Qian Qin was also busy.
Among the group that arrived, the female students far outnumbered their male counterparts, with a mere five boys in attendance.
The girls curiously gazed at the person donning the pink hoodie, examining them keenly.
“He's kind of handsome, isn't he?”
“I can't pinpoint it, but he exudes an undeniable appeal.”
“Does he grow on you the longer you look at him?”
While some whispered in hushed tones, others furrowed their brows.
“…Are they really a boy?”
One girl with long locks hesitated before asking, “Why do they look like a girl to me?”
“What? A girl?”
“How could that be a girl?”
“Indeed,” The long-haired girl gestured with a slight movement of her hand and said, “although they have short hair, their appearance looks very gentle.
It's not overly delicate, but it has a kind of heroic spirit to it.
I think there would be a bit more aggressiveness for a boy, right?”
“And what boy would wear a pink hoodie?” This statement immediately sparked a reaction from the five boys standing nearby.
They erupted angrily, shouting, “What's wrong with a boy liking pink? I think he's one of those guys who fights harder the more pink he wears!”
The girl with long hair bit her lip, at a loss for words.
“…But what she said makes sense,” someone carefully observed the person being discussed and shared their observation, “Aside from the short hair and pink hoodie, there doesn't seem to be anything else that can indicate their gender…
I saw their Adam's apple, though.”
“But girls can have Adam's apples, too, can't they?”
“Judging by their height, at least 170cm, most girls aren't that tall, right?”
The girl, taller than most boys, lowered her head, smiling as she looked at the boy who made the comment.
“Look at my height before you speak,” she said.
The boy replied, “…I'm sorry; let me pour myself a drink to punish my impoliteness.”
He made a motion to zip his mouth shut.
“Hey, how about we just ask?” someone suggested.
“Instead of guessing, why not just ask?”
“Wouldn't that be impolite?”
“I know, let's casually call out 'senior sister' later? If we get corrected, we can just say it was a slip of the tongue?”
“Of course, it had to be you.” They all turned to Qian Qin.
Qian Qin: “…”
'Why did this group suddenly shift their focus to this strange topic??? Come on, you guys are in this bizarre school, not a normal university discussing gossip!'
Furthermore, Silence-senpai definitely looks like a male! That calm and collected demeanour, so at ease with himself–
…although it's not like a female couldn't do that too?
Qian Qin hesitated and turned to look in the direction of Silence.
'From this angle, Silence's face is indeed quite handsome.
if they had more feminine clothes, that would work too!'
So, was Silence really a male student?
'…wait a minute, he's in the male dormitory right now! Of course, he's a male! It's not like Dark Virtue University got Silence's gender wrong, right?' [Universitu file, gender: none LOL]
Qian Qin vigorously shook her head, pushing aside all the inexplicable thoughts in her mind.
“What's wrong, Qinqin?” After Ah Ma and Silence finished discussing, they saw Qian Qin's actions.
They hesitated, “If you're not feeling well, why don't you go back and rest first?”
Qianqin's expression was blank, “No, I'm fine.”
Her gaze wandered, avoiding Amma's eyes and settling on the pink hoodie.
Suddenly being stared at, Xu Jin Yi raised an eyebrow unconsciously and gave a friendly smile.
But before she could say anything to the NPC, she saw Qian Qin's head jerk away like she was punched.
Xu Jin Yi was left with a big question mark on her face.
“Um,” another female NPC walked over, looking nervous at Xu Jin Yi and fidgeting her fingers together for a long time before speaking, “Sister Silence, can I ask what we're going to do later?”
'OMG, I just said it!!'
The girls' eyes lit up in anticipation as they looked at the hoodie before them.
'Another BUG.' Xu Jin Yi couldn't help but want to sigh.
Can't the language bugs be unified? According to the production team, was the game's protagonist male or female?
Xu Jin Yi said, “Ah Ma will tell you later.
I'm going to the cafeteria first.”
She noted this BUG and planned to highlight it in her review – how can a qualified developer team make such a small mistake? Unacceptable!
Xu Jin Yi turned and went into the cafeteria.
Behind her, the girls were utterly excited after hearing her not refute the title 'Sister'.
They began to discuss quietly:
“She didn't refute it! So, Silence is really a girl!”
“I used to think she was a boy…I apologize for my ignorance!”
“In that case, Silence is so cute! That pink hoodie, hehehe…”
“Wait, why are you making that strange sound?!
“?” Ah Ma: “What's going on?”
A hand patted her shoulder, and Ah Ma turned around to see Qian Qin's deep expression.
She pointed to her own head and made a bewildered face, then shook her head heavily.
Ah Ma: “…please speak in human language?”
“They think Silence is a girl, and they didn't refute when they called her 'senior sister' just now,” Qian Qin said.
“So, should we call Silence 'senior sister' from now on?”
Ah Ma looked puzzled: “You guys were just discussing this?”
“Friends,” she sighed and then clapped her hands, attracting the excited girls and the disappointed boys to look at her.
“I don't know what you guys are thinking.
Is it crucial whether Silence is a boy or a girl? Is discussing gender behind someone's back what we should be doing now?” Ah Ma frowned and spoke very earnestly.
“No matter who Silence really is, he/she is here to help us, and that's enough.
Our only goal now is to leave this university.
If Silence is a boy, so what? If Silence is a girl, so what? Does being a boy make them superior to us? Can being a girl help you guys turn the tide? What are you guys really thinking?” Ah Ma asked.
“We should be thinking about standing united and leaving here together, right?” The girl with the ponytail looked at the slowly quieting fifteen people and shook her head.
“As for Silence's situation, you guys can think about how to address them, but you can't bother them with gossip.
Friends, remember the most important thing…
We gathered here not to gossip but to leave this place.
Now everyone, take out your phones, open the recording and come in with me!”
“Are you kidding me?!”
The cafeteria manager trembled with anger.
“You want to get 100 credits from me for something I sell for 500 credits?! Are you trying to cheat me?” His face was so fat and twisted that his little eyes bulged in disbelief.
Xu Jin Yi was even more incredulous.
“It's you trying to cheat me by selling me a few bags of flour for 500 credits! Is your family's flour made of gold?!”
The cafeteria manager was furious, “I sell perfect quality flour!”
Xu Jin Yi didn't back down.
“Your cafeteria had to be shut down and restructured just a few days ago!”
“I sell flour with fine texture and smooth taste!”
“Your cafeteria had to be shut down and restructured!”
“My flour is loved by students!”
“Your cafeteria had to be shut down and restructured!”
“It wasn't shut down and restructured!” The cafeteria manager was enraged, breathing like thunder, “It's an upgrade! An upgrade!”
“Just say whether you will give me for 100 credits or not!”
The cafeteria manager, “You—”
He raised his fist the size of a watermelon but stopped in the next second.
A large group of students had entered, holding up their phones.
The leading female student pointed at him with righteous indignation, “What are you doing! Do you want to hit students?! Is there any justice? Is there any law?! Do you still care about the ethical standards and school spirit of Dark Virtue University?!!”
Cafeteria Manager: “…”
These words sound so familiar!
He held his breath and reluctantly put down his hand, chuckling nervously, “N-nothing, my hand just cramped up for a moment, that's all…”
“100 study hours,” Xu Jin Yi sneered, squinting her eyes, “Will you sell it or not?”
Cafeteria Manager: “…”.
It looked at the numerous phones that almost smashed into his face, then glanced at the harbinger of bad luck in front of him.
“Add, add a little more…200.
Is 200 okay?”
“Fine, fine, 150 it is!”
The cafeteria manager took out the POS machine, swiped it for Xu Jin Yi, and hurriedly ran away.
After watching the other person leave, Ah Ma finally put down her phone and breathed deeply.
Her back was soaked with cold sweat.
She didn't know how Silence responded so effortlessly to these monsters.
“Bro…” She was about to speak when she thought of what had just happened and hesitated momentarily.
“Senior, have you negotiated the price of the ingredients?”
Xu Jin Yi gave her a strange look but didn't say anything, only saying, “150 study hours, 300 portions of ingredients.
The window has also been applied for.
It's over there.”
She pointed to a clean and tidy food window not far away.
“As long as you can earn back 500 study hours, you can sell other things.
Let's clarify that noodles are not as good as human flesh.
They may not sell as well as other food windows here.
The only advantage is that we can sell them cheaper, and you can also make some food for yourselves.” Xu Jin Yi withdrew her finger, raised her eyebrows, and smiled.
“Small profits, quick turnover, you know? Then it's up to you, My dear juniors~.”
The sales figures were expected to be disappointing, but not to this extent.
After three days of opening the dining window, Xu Jin Yi watched as the sales figures fell into silence for the first time.
“Ah Ma: “…um, I'm really sorry.”
The amount of food consumed by the staff was more significant than the amount sold.
This was something Xu Jin Yi had not anticipated.
However, these 37 people were living students, and if they didn't want to starve, they could only eat normal food.
What about the strange meat sold at other canteens? Come on, that reduces your SAN value! She didn't want to be stuck with a bunch of crazy people trying to escape.
This was definitely a bad ending!
Even if it was just her first VR playthrough, Xu Jin Yi didn't plan to achieve a total annihilation ending.
It would ruin her reputation on the forum!
“Lower the price a little more,” Xu Jin Yi said, “Compared to other dining windows, we offer nearly half the price, which can attract other ghost students.”
Now was not the time to make a big profit, but to think about selling these items, even if only a little, to gradually increase study hours.
“What are the other ingredients you mentioned, Senior?” Ah Ma asked through gritted teeth, “We can pool our study hours together…”
“Your study hours are for participating in the [final exams],” Xu Jin Yi looked over with a calm gaze, “Don't you want to leave?”
“But, but, these are also your study hour points—”
Xu Jin Yi: “I said, don't confuse the means and the ends, okay?”
The other person seemed a bit helpless.
“Leaving here is the ultimate goal.
Or do you want to stay here?” Xu Jin Yi chuckled softly.
“Little junior sister, staying here will drive you crazy~.”
Xu Jin Yi wanted to pry open this NPC's brain and see what was inside.
What was the most scary thing in Horror games? It's indecisiveness!
Previously, Xu Jin Yi had a similar personality.
Still, she quickly transformed after being “abused” by countless horror game [You are Dead] screens.
Hesitation leads to defeat!
Just charge and get it done!
Getting something for free was a future problem!
As Ah Ma looked at the silent figure in front of her, she opened her mouth, but in the end, she didn't say anything and just nodded silently.
Three days later, Xu Jin Yi looked at the gradually increasing sales and study hours and nodded in approval.
It's not too bad.
And she hasn't gone into the red.
All the faculty and staff at Dark Virtue University have eaten at the cafeteria, but only the principal has never come.
“Our school cafeteria is getting better and better~” Xu Jin Yi caught the sneaky cafeteria manager and casually chatted, “But why haven't we seen the principal visit?”
The cafeteria manager's face looked strange after hearing this.
“Is the president here?”
“He's been eating here all along…”
The recollection ended with the cafeteria manager's weird smile and Xu Jin Yi's contemplative expression.
After evening self-study that day, Xu Jin Yi called out to Shen Jia again.
She only called for one person, but three people came.
“They insisted on coming.” Shen Jia was somewhat helpless.
It was okay for Xu Qin, but Xu Jin Yi looked at the one who lost half his sanity after going out last time, Peng Jia Lang, and laughed, “You're going again?”
Shen Jia took a deep breath, then showed a heroic expression, “I want to protect Shen Jia!”
Shen Jia: “…”
He pointed to his head, with a look of sorrow aimed at Shen Jia and shook his head.
Xu Jin Yi laughed heartily.
“On our trip to the library,” Xu Jin Yi recounted after a hearty chuckle, “We now confirmed that Vice President Little Zhou is the same as the former Zhou Xiao Han.
Zhou Xiao Han died because of the 'private theft of seals'; hence it is plausible that the current Little Zhou may have information regarding the seal's whereabouts.
Even if the seal is not in her possession, it is likely to be found in a location she frequents – the library.” Xu Jin Yi proceeded to divulge her observations regarding Little Zhou's recent movements in the past few days.
In addition to attending classes, Little Zhou was a frequent visitor to the library, seldom straying from its confines.
When she claimed to be heading back to her dormitory on their last encounter, she had merely migrated from the fourth to the fifth floor, effectively deceiving Xu Jin Yi.
“Be wary of the perils of the night,” Xu Jin Yi admonished with a note of caution, “if you happen to catch a glimpse of a blinding white light, make haste and flee – it is the ghost patrol.
While they usually limit their patrols to the main road, they occasionally venture into nearby buildings to take shortcuts.”
Xu Qins heaved a sigh of relief and queried, “Other than the patrols, is there anything else to be mindful of?”
With a sardonic chuckle, Xu Jin Yi responded, “A staggering 352 ghost patrols are haunting the premises of Dark Virtue University at night.”
The trio exchanged a look of incredulity – surely that number was excessive.
Otherwise, they had to be too lucky to evade capture during their previous expedition.
Xu Jin Yi quelled their scepticism, “I assure you that the 352 ghostly figures are very much real.”
'Even worse, why was there such a precise number? How often did senior have to go out at night to get this number?'
Under Xu Jin Yi's astute leadership, they progressed towards the laboratory building, an ominous structure devoid of life after hours.
The moon cast an eerie blue tint on the rectangular floors, amplifying the eeriness of the surroundings.
They navigated the right-wing corridor, where Xu Jin Yi whispered, “Little Zhou is known to appear haphazardly on either the fourth or fifth floor, both comprising the library.
I surmise that the seal may be hidden in this vicinity.
Zhou Xiao Han is already dead.
Now she has become Little Zhou, but it's unclear if she still has her sanity.
I suggest that if you encounter her…”
A soft, barely audible voice interrupted Xu Jin Yi's words: “What if you come across me?”
Xu Jin Yi: “…”
Xu Jin Yi's response was lost in the sudden silence that fell over the group.
Three nervous pairs of eyes turned upwards to gaze at the figure of Little Zhou, standing poised on the stairs above in her striking red vest and black skirt.
“Let's try playing the emotional card,” Xu Jin Yi smiled, retreating a few steps.
“Hey, Little Zhou, we have someone here who used to know you.
He's hoping to catch up.”
With that, Peng Jia Lang was nudged forward by his friends and stumbled into the spotlight.
He stared at the eerie and stiff smiling face, his eyes searching for any trace of the former Zhou Xiao Han in this scary girl.
“I'm Peng Jia Lang,” he introduced himself as he swallowed, his voice barely above a whisper.
“We used to be classmates.
do you remember me?”
Little Zhou continued to smile serenely, giving no indication of recognition.
“You helped us so much,” Peng Jia Lang continued, his eyelashes trembling.
“I always thought you were the smartest person in our class.
You knew so much, and you were the one who gave us all hope of escaping from here.
I'm sorry for stealing food from your dorm.
After you died, I was so scared.
If someone as intelligent as you couldn't make it out of this weird university, how can the rest of us ever hope to survive?” He bowed, overcome with emotion.
can you come back?”
The tension in the room was palpable as Little Zhou remained silent, her smile frozen on her lips.
'Zhou Xiao Han, do you still remember?'
'You were my former hope…
Suddenly, with lightning-fast reflexes, Xu Jin Yi grabbed Peng Jia Lang by the collar, pulling him back just in time to save him from the razor-sharp claws that Little Zhou had extended towards him.
“Stealing, breaking into the women's dormitory, not returning at night…”
Little Zhou, the vice-chairman of the student union, suddenly raised the corners of her mouth on both sides, pulling them to a strange degree.
“—— Charge! Execute!” The ghostly vice-chairman bellowed, her voice echoing through the halls as she charged towards them.
Peng Jia Lang was pulled back by his sweatshirt, and he quickly turned around to flee down the stairs.
His sudden movements also startled the two other male students, who were frozen in shock.
Without hesitation, the group ran down the stairs to the fourth floor.
“Everyone, go back to the dorms!” As soon as Peng Jia Lang could run on his own, Xu Jin Yi released him and took the lead.
However, it seemed that luck was not on their side today.
Before reaching the cafeteria, Xu Jin Yi saw a horde of guards heading towards them like a relentless tide.
She cursed under her breath and quickly changed direction.
“To the teaching building! There's a patrol nearby.
Run towards the teaching building!”
With the ghost patrol ahead and the student association ghosts chasing from behind, the students were trapped and herded like lambs to the slaughter.
They rushed into the teaching building, hoping to find refuge.
While the ghost patrol could not enter the building, the student association ghosts had no such limitations.
Somehow they all run into the boy's bathroom and quickly found stalls to hide in, hoping to escape detection.
At least Little Zhou was a ghost, a female one.
She wouldn't dare enter the men's bathroom, right…?
A loud explosion rocked the bathroom, followed by sharp claws scraping against the ceramic tiles.
“Thunk!!!” The ghostly creature pounded on the door with tremendous force.
“—— Are you in there?”
The occupant inside trembled in terror, covering their mouth to stifle any sound.
At that moment, they even began preparing their farewell letter.
“—— or, here?!” The ghostly creature cackled as it broke open the adjacent stall door.
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