In Virtual Reality 37 ☆ Death Notice (21/25)

Updated: 2 hours ago



'Please calm down, Ah Ma.
It's premature to jump to conclusions.
Furthermore, Liu Xin and Zhou Xiao Han were inseparable so it could have been anyone else,' she urged herself silently.

Ah Ma tried to quell her unease but couldn't help glancing at Liu Xin, who stood outside the cafeteria window.
The towering girl had serene countenance and an air of refinement.

“What troubles you, Ah Ma?” Liu Xin queried, squinting her eyes and smiling.
“Do you need my help?”

She brushed her hair aside, and her bright eyes gleamed.
At first, Ah Ma thought the sparkle in her eyes signified hope, sincerity, and optimism.

'But why didn't you collaborate with Zhou Xiao Han and disclose everything after her passing? Are you genuinely afraid? And what about your present mild-mannered and helpful appearance? Zhou Xiao Han had faith in you, but if you truly betrayed her, do you not feel remorseful?'

Ah Ma scrutinized Liu Xin from head to toe.
She couldn't read the delicate girl's intentions.
Perhaps Liu Xin wasn't the traitor after all?

Ah Ma always assumed the worst about ghosts and monsters in this atmosphere.
However, when she suspected her allies, she felt wrong and resistant to such thoughts.

'Perhaps it's my imagination? Maybe we still need to discover all the clues? Maybe other ghosts and monsters in this school are trying to incite us? We must band together, coexist peacefully, and resist outside threats!'

“Excuse me, may I inspect the kitchen behind your cafeteria?” The plump cafeteria manager rapped on the glass window before Ah Ma.
His large green eyes conveyed a tinge of sarcasm.
“Someone has reported unsanitary conditions and the sale of counterfeit products.”

The cafeteria manager walked around the window and pushed the side door leading to the kitchen.
He muttered, “This will not suffice.
Our Dark Virtue University cafeteria should serve students, not exploit them.”

Ah Ma averted her gaze, her face inscrutable.
Only her slender hands, wearing food-grade gloves, revealed her inner turmoil, clenching hard.

The canteen's side door was unceremoniously pushed open.
Still, to the manager's surprise, a dense mist engulfed his eyes the moment he entered.

“What in the world is going on here?”

A figure, cloaked in a protective suit and transparent mask, brandished a spray bottle and unleashed its contents on the bewildered manager.

“Well, well, well.
Look who it is.
Manager Wang, I presume?” The muffled voice belonged to a figure donning a pink hoodie with a sly grin on their face.
“You dropped by unannounced today.
How rude of you not to say hello beforehand.”

Ptui, ptui! Manager Wang sputtered, aghast at being misted with the unknown substance.
“What are you doing!”

After all, the kitchen must maintain the highest standards of cleanliness,” stated the figure, identified as Silence, with a cold glint in their eye.

As Silence advanced, the manager involuntarily retreated, eventually stepping out of the side door with a click as it shut behind him.
Silence, with the alcohol spray bottle still in hand, gazed icily at the somewhat flustered manager.

“You're welcome to visit the kitchen, of course.
But did you say that we were reported?” Silence spoke slowly before sporting a sneer.
“Who has that much free time? Moreover, non-staff members can't enter the kitchen.
Also, I have some questions for you this time,” Silence mused behind their mask.

Manager Wang's brow began to perspire, and he felt a sense of unease.

“Are the canteen's prices regulated by written rules? Isn't charging different prices every day a violation of the regulations? Surely a meal for ten study hours must be a sumptuous feast, correct?”

The manager tried to protest, “This…this has been discussed and agreed upon by everyone.
This is the market price!”

Silence snapped, “A normal student's daily study score is between two and eight study hours.
Is this the market price you're talking about reasonable?”

“But…but your coffee is also sold for eight study hours! Who are you to criticize our canteen?”

“However, coffee is not an essential commodity.
You don't need it for all three meals, do you? Besides, our coffee has a stellar reputation; students can compare it with other canteen offerings.
Not drinking [Coffee] won't lead to starvation, but skipping [three meals a day] might.
Manager Wang, are you intentionally withholding food from other students or attempting to damage the reputation of our Dark Virtue University?” Silence fixed their gaze on the corpulent figure before them and narrowed their eyes, enunciating their final words, “The Principle is keeping an eye on you.”

“I apologize, my dear student Silence,” Manager Wang mustered a smile, but it failed to leave much of an impression.
His visage displayed numerous emotions, with terror being the most prominent.
“I have immense respect for our Dark Virtue University! My sole purpose is to serve our students and the President!”

As he spoke, he gradually withdrew.
Just before exiting the cafeteria, he suddenly gestured in a specific direction, “It's, this student who reported it! It's not my mistake! I swear, I harbour no other intentions against our Dark Virtue University!”

With that, Manager Wang almost tripped as he left the room, causing a loud thud, followed by silence.


Xu Jin Yi removed her gaze from Manager Wang and glanced in the direction he had pointed to before departing.

To her surprise, she found Liu Xin standing there.

This was indeed an unforeseen occurrence.
“The principal” significantly influences every faculty and staff member of Dark Virtue University.

…Well, not everyone viewed it as a surprise.

The one who was pointed at was Liu Xin.

Whether it was the individuals near the food window or those who received a notification from Ah Ma and rushed over, they all overheard what Manager Wang had just stated.

Shen Jia parted the heavy rubber curtain but didn't lower it.

Ah Ma looked at Liu Xin in front of her, her mouth agape, but she remained silent for a considerable duration.

“…Why is it you?” She whispered, “Why you? Don't you have a strong bond with Zhou Xiao Han?”

The accused girl appeared somewhat astonished by the accusations, her eyebrows arching upwards, “You're aware of it?”

“…How can you still find it amusing?”

Liu Xin tucked her hair behind her ear and smiled, “Why can't I find it amusing? My relationship with Zhou Xiao Han is, in fact, very strong,” Liu Xin referenced Zhou Xiao Han and eased up, her countenance still reflecting a tinge of longing, “She is a truly good and law-abiding girl.”

“Then why-“

“Because she made an error.” Liu Xin blinked her eyes, “Even though I share a close bond with her, I cannot overlook it, can I?”

The girl's countenance was troubled, with a tinge of melancholy as she spoke of her former comrade's misdemeanours: “Staying out all night, sneaking about, and even stealing the principal's emblem…
I used to believe that she was akin to me – a law-abiding and upright person.
So why do those who break the rules seem to reap good rewards? Why do they get away with it?”

After a moment of contemplation, Liu Xin lifted her head and looked around before speaking earnestly to Ah Ma: “So long as we adhere to the rules, we can reside here – and in greater comfort than outside.
I cherish this place,” she said, a chilling smile creeping over her lips.
“I hope everyone can come to like it here – to be an upstanding person!”

Shen Jia, who stood just a few steps behind, was aghast.
“You're insane.”

“I am not,” she replied, turning around to face him.

“Not insane?” he retorted, a mix of grief and sadness in his voice.
“Then why did you report this place?”

“Because I observed that earlier, you did not follow proper sanitation measures in the kitchen, correct?” Liu Xin replied.

“Then why did you report Zhou Xiao Han?”

“Because stealing is not the mark of an upstanding person, correct?”

“Then why did you report Lin Lian?!”

Liu Xin's expression turned tranquil, her dark pupils seemingly lifeless.
“Because she deserves to face the consequences and die.
Cheating is prohibited, is it not? Moreover, she did not repent despite my numerous advice,” she said, her voice trailing off.
“She even had the audacity to claim that only idiots follow the rules.”

A rule-abiding individual was disparaged, while those who transgress with deceit ascended to the top.
It was incomprehensible to Liu Xin.

“So, I made sure she understood that ill-doers will have ill fates,” Liu Xin said, flashing a smile.
“Only good people like us can live in harmony!”

“You're certifiably insane,” Long Xiao Hui said, who had appeared without anyone's knowledge.
She gaped at Liu Xin, her thoughts in disarray.
“What good person and bad person…
In your eyes, Zhou Xiao Han is a bad person??”

Long Xiao Hui aggressively lunged towards Liu Xin and seized her by the collar, berating her loudly: “Can't you exercise some common sense? Can't you shield your benefactor who provided you with food?!”

“What gives you the right to judge me?” Liu Xin's gaze remained serene, as if she had abandoned her prior facade of being reserved.
Instead, she aimed to strike at the core of Long Xiao Hui: “You're a hypocrite, Long Xiao Hui, for concealing the supplies that Zhou Xiao Han had left for everyone.”

“I did it for us!” Long Xiao Hui was so irate that she nearly struck her.
“Yes! Zhou Xiao Han stated that if she ever passed away, the supplies she had left behind would be allocated to those in need.
Still, it was also on the condition that we lived through it!! Those supplies won't suffice for long and can't ensure everyone's survival! I'm considering us — you, and myself, Liu Xin!”

Suddenly, a tremendous force flung Long Xiao Hui backwards, causing her to collapse on the ground.

Liu Xin, who had caused this, stared expressionlessly at her: “For me? You've been considering yourself from the start.
Don't justify your actions any longer.”

“You're insane…
you're insane…
you lunatic…” Long Xiao Hui was so angry that her lips quivered.
“Obviously, I'm doing this for both of us! I don't need to lie!”

“Repeat that, and I'll show you who's truly insane,” Liu Xin declared.

Xu Jin Yi surveyed the girl's 【Sanity Points】, which were empty in the NPC interface, and murmured: “I see, I see.”

Xu Jin Yi had anticipated this eventuality and was uncertain how to appraise it at present.

NPC 【Liu Xin】's sanity had plummeted, and it wasn't clear when it occurred.
Prior to this, there had been no noticeable indications.

With this precedent, Xu Jin Yi accessed the interface and examined the other NPCs.
Ultimately, aside from Liu Xin's sanity being wiped out and Peng Jia Lang's sanity being at a guarded yellow level, everyone else's sanity had slightly decreased but was still at a safe blue level.

Presumably, Liu Xin did not venture out every night, right? After all, she believed going out at night and not returning would breach the rules.
So what could have led to this situation?

Subsequently, the protagonist, who had caused a great stir, departed on her own, leaving behind a group of individuals too stunned to converse.

“Okay, okay,” Xu Jin Yi no longer paid attention to this NPC whose sanity had been depleted since even the 【Functional Beverage】 couldn't salvage Liu Xin except by reverting to an earlier save.
“Ah Ma, how many cups of coffee have we sold?”

Ah Ma regained her focus and examined the sales report that had just been submitted.
The turnover had surpassed five thousand credit hours.

Xu Jin Yi suggested, “Let's tally up the credit hours of the other students and make sure we meet the final exam requirements as soon as possible.”

Liu Xin's SAN seemed to have been wiped out due to her prolonged stay here.

One of the students interjected, “Final exams…
I'll be honest, I haven't learned much in this course.”

These non-professional students dared to attend classes in such a daunting environment.

Xu Jin Yi reassured them, “Leave it to me.
It's just an exam, easy peasy.
Zhou Xiao Han has also devised some strategies for Dark Virtue University, and Shen Jia will share them with you.
In these next two days, we all need to gear up, especially those with no foundation.
As outstanding students of Dark Virtue University, we should set an example for our future juniors and sisters!”

The group was silent, unsure of who would want to set an example.

Shen Jia and Ah Ma took the time to arrange these matters again, while some minority students who couldn't attend due to class had others to notify.
They left only when the evening self-study session was almost over.


After the gruelling evening self-study, Lu Er Er and Cao Ya returned to dorm room 502.

Ah Ma and Qian Qin's self-study room was closer to the dorm, so they returned to 502 earlier.

Lu Er Er and her ill-fated roommate Cao Ya were discussing the day's events.
As they turned a corner on the top floor of the dorm, they collided with someone.

“Whoa, watch it!”

The short-haired girl rubbed her nose and was somewhat peeved.
“Do you know how terrifying it is to be startled like that?!”

“I apologize.”

The voice sounded familiar.
Lu Er Er looked up and, with the faint light from her phone screen, saw-

“Long Xiao Hui?” The girl, who was slightly taller than her, froze.

Then Long Xiao Hui's voice emerged, “I'm sorry I didn't see you earlier.”

Lu Er Er and Cao Ya had previously discussed the recent events in room 503.
However, upon the protagonist's arrival, Lu Er Er felt uneasy talking behind someone's back and swiftly changed the topic.
“What brings you here?” she inquired.
“Aren't you heading back to the dorm?”

Long Xiao Hui hesitated momentarily in the dark before responding, “I fear she might harm me.”

Perplexed, Lu Er Er asked, “How so?”

Long Xiao Hui gritted her teeth and whispered, “She might kill me! She's already done away with two of my previous roommates.”

Cao Ya held a negative opinion of Long Xiao Hui and therefore made her way into the dorm, leaving Lu Er Er to deal with the situation alone.
“Hurry up and come inside,” Cao Ya remarked as she walked away.
“Or do you plan on spending the night outdoors?”

“Ugh ugh ugh, I'm not staying outside,” Lu Er Er hastily replied, grabbing the door before it shut due to inertia.
She cast a pitiful glance towards Long Xiao Hui before telling her to wait and went inside the dormitory.
It took her a while to return and open the door, “Come in.
You can stay here for a few days.”


Ah Ma and Qian Qin were the ones who agreed to let Long Xiao Hui stay.
Cao Ya remained indifferent but expressed her concerns beforehand, “Although I don't mind, you should be aware of the potential consequences.”

Ah Ma nodded, “If anything happens, I'll take responsibility.”

Cao Ya countered, “That's not what I meant.”

Ah Ma explained, “Even though I didn't witness what occurred earlier, I am not fond of the other three people from the neighbouring dormitory except for Zhou Xiao Han.
Long Xiao Hui and Liu Xin frequently argue; even when we dine together, they can't seem to behave.
Long Xiao Hui is hot-headed and bossy, while Liu Xin is timid and reserved.
Lin Lian could only serve as a mediator, and it was apparent that she favoured Long Xiao Hui.
When Zhou Xiao Han was in the dorm, they were more well-behaved, but I feel like Zhou Xiao Han was always preoccupied with her own affairs.
Her three roommates are skilled at acting silent, like a mute gourd that can't make a sound no matter how hard you strike it.”

“I dislike socializing with people like them; conversing with them is far too taxing,” Cao Ya grumbled.
“Even conversing with Lu Er Er is easier than them.”

“Hey!” Lu Er Er objected.

Qian Qin interjected, “Despite that, Long Xiao Hui is still our companion.” She sighed, “My thoughts coincide with Shen Jia and the others.
Whether it's a public or private issue, if we go out together, we will handle it separately.”

Ah Ma also stated, “If we lose one person now, it will instil panic in the others.”

Upon hearing this, Cao Ya had no objection: “I know the big picture is important.”

Only Lu Er Er murmured softly: “So, were you indirectly saying that you like me just now?”

“…I like you, like you so much that I want to sew your mouth shut.”

Lu Er Er pouted: “No need for that.
I'll go open the door for Long Xiao Hui!”


In the end, Long Xiao Hui still lived in Room 502.

But she thought there wouldn't be any arguments during these few days when they sold coffee to earn school credits.
However, the conflict emerged on the second day.

The cause was the cleaning period during lunchtime.

“Ah Ma is responsible for mopping the floor in the dormitory, Qian Qin is responsible for the bathroom and toilet, Cao Ya is responsible for the corridor, and Lu Er Er is responsible for sweeping the floor,” Long Xiao Hui carried several bags of garbage, “I'm going downstairs to throw away the trash.”

Cao Ya didn't express much; she already knew Long Xiao Hui's temper.

But Ah Ma and Qian Qin frowned, wondering how to politely tell Long Xiao Hui that her way of speaking wasn't very likeable.

Lu Er Er didn't have much temper for delicate thought; she just threw the broom that Long Xiao Hui handed her and opened her mouth: “Why should I!? Our dormitory leader has yet to speak, and you, a temporary guest, are making arrangements with such arrogance?” Lu Er Er showed an expression of incomprehension: “Let me tell you, Long Xiao Hui, with the way you speak, you'll be beaten with a burlap bag if you go out!”



——— Translator's Notes ———

陆 (lù) means “land” or “shore”

尔尔 (ěr ěr) is a given name that does not have a specific meaning…
thus / so / like that / you / thou

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