In Virtual Reality 42 ☆ Elevator Safety Instructions (1/12)
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Plum Blossom College Women's Dormitory 603.
Xu Jin Yi huffed and puffed as she carried her luggage to the sixth floor.
Although the weather had turned cooler and she was pretty tough, carrying this heavy object up six flights of stairs was almost too much for her to bear.
Upon reaching Room 603, she stood before the dormitory door, ready to pull out her keys and open them.
But before she could do so, the door swung open, revealing a familiar face.
“My dear Jin Yi baby!!” Yang An An (杨安安), her classmate, was overjoyed when she saw Xu Jin Yi and immediately tried to give her a heavy dose of roommate love.
“You're finally here!”
She dodged Yang An An's enthusiastic embrace, barely escaping.
“Stop! Hold on! I don't want it!” Xu Jin Yi then went to her private area and looked around, asking, “Where are the others?”
After dealing with Hu Jing Jing, Xu Jin Yi had time to report to the school.
It was already three o'clock in the afternoon by then.
Before the registration, their dormitory WeChat group had already shared their estimated arrival times.
Still, Xu Jin Yi, a local, turned out to be the last to arrive.
“Lao Xiang and Tan Bao have finished tidying up their stuff and just went downstairs to buy some snacks,” Yang An An informed her, helping Xu Jin Yi pull out a chair.
“Jin Yi baby, would you like to chat first or organize your things?”
She even showed an exaggerated shy expression.
Xu Jin Yi said, “…
It's only been a summer, and you've become even more greasy.”
Yang An An burst into tears.
“I'll tidy up my things first,” Xu Jin Yi said, opening her suitcase and swiftly clearing off her somewhat dusty desk.
“We don't have classes until the day after tomorrow.
Do you guys have any plans for tomorrow?”
“I'd like to gather everyone together and have some food and drinks,” Yang An An said, pulling a chair closer to Xu Jin Yi's busy workspace.
She tilted her head and looked at Xu Jin Yi.
“But do you three homebodies even want to go out with me?”
“— Of course not!” A female voice suddenly piped up from the doorway.
It was Lao Xiang, holding several bottles of tea, followed by Tan Bao, carrying a bunch of snacks.
“It's going to be 40℃ outside tomorrow,” Lao Xiang continued, “The three of us who are like ice cream will definitely melt once we step out of this door.”
After a moment of silence, Yang An An replied, “I really don't understand the temperature in Jiang City…
So you guys bought so many things – are you planning to stay in for a few days?”
“Not really, just enough for a week,” Tan Bao and Lao Xiang greeted each other and laughed.
“Just thinking about not having morning or evening self-study in our junior year and having such an easy timetable, oh my god, let's freeze time in our junior year!”
The girls bantered playfully.
Later that night, Xu Jin Yi stood on the balcony, letting the wind blow her hair while gazing at the pitch-black sky and the distant neon lights.
For a rare moment, she felt at ease.
Although she could live alone at home, sharing a living space with roommates had its unique charm.
It was like transitioning from a monochrome, single-lined life to a rainbow-coloured life enriched with human sentimentality.
After a quick shower, Xu Jin Yi leaned on the balcony railing, contemplating the stark contrast between the day and night in Jiang City.
Despite the impending heatwave, the coolness of the night was refreshing.
“Jin Yi, sweetie!”
Yang An An called out from the room, interrupting Xu Jin Yi's thoughts.
She lazily turned her head and stretched, “What's up?”
“The instructor gave us a task.
We have to watch a video and take a picture as proof.
Please take a picture of me looking serious while watching the video.
I need to submit it!”
Yang An An pulled Xu Jin Yi inside and sat in front of her computer.
“Hurry up and take the picture!”
Xu Jin Yi snapped a photo of Yang An An, and another roommate came over, also asking for a picture.
They took identical photos of themselves with one computer each on a desk, and the task was completed.
“Jin Yi, you sit down.
I'll take a picture of you too,” Yang An An said, grabbing Xu Jin Yi's phone and quickly switching to camera mode.
Xu Jin Yi sat on Yang An An's chair and watched the video playing on the computer while waiting for her friend to take the picture.
“……After analysis by national authorities, please pay attention to your own safety when going out and be vigilant–beep!”
Suddenly, the computer screen in front jumped to the “network disconnected” page, and the lights above the heads of the residents of Room 603 went out, plunging everyone into darkness.
Did we forget to pay the electricity bill for our dormitory?”
“It seems like it.
Let me go check if other dorms have power.”
“It's just us,” Xu Jin Yi said, glancing at the dormitory payment interface on her phone.
“Not only that, but we owe 15$ for electricity.”
There was a brief moment of silence before everyone started to laugh together.
“Hurry up and pay,” Yang An An urged, opening the flashlight on her phone.
“Jin Yi dear, can you please pay it? We'll transfer the money to you in our group.”
Xu Jin Yi said, “OK.”
They spent three minutes in darkness until the light above the dormitory flickered and finally lit up.
“The power outage was caused by debts,” Yang An An said, fiddling with her computer, still looking at the separate network page with puzzlement.
“Could it have taken away my internet fee? But I'm using the campus network!”
“The campus network might have some problems,” one of the roommates said.
“Our internet is working fine.
If it doesn't work, just use your mobile data!”
“But that'll cost more money,” Yang An An frowned.
Looking at her phone, Xu Jin Yi noticed Yang An An had taken a photo of her watching a video on her computer earlier.
Hence, she handed her phone over, saying, “No problem, you don't need to open your computer again.
I took a picture of it earlier.”
They posted the photo to their group chat as proof of attendance, satisfying their instructor.
Xu Jin Yi casually asked, “Did anyone watch the video our instructor sent?”
The three friends struck a Dab pose, the air around them buzzing with ~ don't give shit energy.
Yang An An chuckled, “I don't think it's a big deal.
Just a reminder for the citizens to be cautious and report any incidents to the police.
Besides, we don't really go out that much, so it's probably not a big deal.”
Xu Jin Yi pondered for a moment before nodding in agreement.
With that settled, the trio dove into sharing their summer experiences.
Lao Xiang had picked up a part-time job, Tan Bao had adopted a hermit lifestyle, and Yang An An struggled to earn her driver's license.
“What about you, Jin Yi? Did you go anywhere exciting?” Yang An An asked.
“I stayed at home and played games…” Xu Jin Yi trailed off, her thoughts turning to the one exception she'd made to her recluse's life.
“Oh! But I did go out once.
When are we going to Morphy Amusement Park together? Last time I went specifically for the newly built haunted house, but it was under construction.
I don't know if it's open again.
There's also a water park over there.
If it's still hot out, we can go and try it together?”
Tan Bao's interest was tepid at best, but Lao Xiang was always up for a new adventure.
“Sounds like a plan,” Lao Xiang chimed in.
The conversation continued for a while longer, but the late hour eventually caught up with them.
Not wanting to disturb the other residents, they quickly tidied up and retired to bed.
Xu Jin Yi found herself restless, her phone's games failing to capture her attention…
Xu Jin Yi's phone buzzed, and the game website app alert appeared on her screen.
“Elevator Safety Instructions, hey!” she exclaimed with a smile.
“This classic horror game is being remade?” The game's name immediately suggested its setting – an elevator, and its genre – horror.
In this jump scare-based game, the player enters the elevator and presses the button for their desired floor.
During the ride, they must keep their eyes open no matter how often the elevator doors open or what happens.
The player can safely exit and clear the game only when the elevator reaches the original floor and the doors open.
Although it's a simple game, it's full of crazy elements that can scare players witless.
Players don't need to move; they only need the courage to face the horrors the development team has prepared for them.
However, this time, the developers of “Elevator Safety Instructions” developed a first-person VR version.
It released an article inviting players to try it out with a teammate.
“[Do you think playing the game alone is too easy? Try bringing a teammate! (NPC.jpg handed over)].”
Xu Jin Yi's curiosity was piqued when she learned that “Elevator Safety Instructions” was now VR-compatible and had added interactive NPC characters.
While “Screaming Haunted House” and “Death Notice” were massive games, this was a small indie game meant to be played exclusively within the confines of an elevator.
Despite its limited scope, Xu Jin Yi was intrigued and couldn't resist the opportunity to try it out.
Grinning mischievously, Xu Jin Yi complimented the developer on their ability to entice her with such a unique game.
Although she had brought her VR glasses, she had to download the game on her computer before playing.
She hesitated momentarily, taking a quick survey of the room to ensure that her gameplay wouldn't disturb her roommates.
With Tan Bao engrossed in a drama with headphones on, Lao Xiang playing mobile games on her bed, and Yang An An burning the midnight oil studying, Xu Jin Yi concluded that it would be a waste of an excellent night if she didn't indulge in a bit of gaming herself.
Without delay, Xu Jin Yi got out of bed and started her computer.
She used her phone's WiFi to download “Elevator Safety Instructions” from the gaming website, eager to see what this unique game had in store.
Cao Wei Min headed to Prosperity Bay Community, the latest known address of “Silence.” His last known location was near a young man who lived with him.
Cao Wei Min frowned as he looked at the information on his phone about Wang Jin Long.
He had asked He Du to investigate Wang Jin Long's recent movements and discovered that he had been at the Morphy amusement park before and after the “Haunted House Incident.” He was also frequently seen near the stops of the No.
25 bus route after the “Bus Incident” had occurred.
In addition, his appearance was similar to the sketch of “Silence” drawn recently.
However, there were some age differences compared to the descriptions of other survivors.
Cao Wei Min clicked his tongue.
“This guy is a bit handsome.
At first glance, one could even ignore his age of 32 in his information.
It's not impossible to look younger and be misunderstood about one's age.”
He drove near Prosperity Bay Community, a semi-prosperous zone with a large flow of people.
After finding a parking spot, he turned off the car engine and headed straight for Prosperity Bay Community.
The security guard in the community's booth was dozing off with half-closed eyes, so Cao Wei Min didn't try to attract his attention.
Instead, he walked in openly and naturally.
After scanning the surroundings, he eventually located Building 3, where Wang Jin Long resided.
Cao Wei Min proceeded towards it, following the black-grey asphalt road, and soon arrived at the floor exit.
As he stepped into the lobby on the first floor, Cao Wei Min felt a slight drop in temperature, but it didn't reduce his tension.
If Wang Jin Long was indeed the Silence, would he know anything about “Ye Cheng Jing”? Would his attitude towards “Spirit Shenanigans” be the same as theirs? These thoughts filled Cao Wei Min's mind as he continued walking.
However, his progress was momentarily interrupted by a sudden shout from the nearby elevator.
“Wheatley! Don't go in!” A girl in a navy blue short T-shirt held a dog leash, trying to restrain a Chinese pastoral dog from rushing into the elevator.
The dog whimpered a few times, casting a longing look at the girl who refused to let it into the elevator.
It seemed bewildered, unable to understand why it couldn't go home.
A voice from inside the elevator offered reassurance: “Don't worry, miss! I'm not afraid of dogs.
Come on up!”
Cao Wei Min had yet turned the corner and could only guess that the voice belonged to a young man.
The girl shook her head, her face contorting into an unusual expression.
“No, it's okay.
You go first.”
With a scratch of his head, the delivery man in his yellow uniform muttered, “Okay,” and pressed the button for the 32nd floor.
'Does this girl think I'm a bad person? Do I look that terrible?' he wondered.
Nevertheless, he had a job and food to deliver before it got cold.
“Hey! Wait a minute!” Cao Wei Min rushed over, eager to take the elevator to the 14th floor to find Wang Jin Long.
The delivery man sprang into action, pressing the open button, but the elevator closed.
As the doors slid shut, the girl outside the elevator spoke hushedly, “Be careful…
The doors slid shut, and the delivery man felt a shiver run down his spine as the elevator began to ascend.
The girl's words echoed in his mind, and he wondered what she meant.
Was there something he should be worried about? He glanced nervously at the floor display, watching the numbers tick higher.
'…Perhaps it was nothing,' he thought, trying to calm his jangling nerves.
After all, crazy things don't always happen in life.
——— Translator's Notes ———
Yang (杨) poplar
安安 ān'ān (Tw) (Internet slang) Greetings! (used when it's unknown what time the reader will see one's post, or just to be cute)
“Lao Xiang” (老向) is a Chinese name composed of the two characters “lao” (老), meaning “old,” and “xiang” (向), which can have various meanings depending on the context.
It can mean “towards,” “facing,” or “in the direction of,” among others.
Without more information about the character, it's difficult to determine the exact meaning of “xiang” in this context.
The combination of these two characters could mean something like “old and experienced in a certain direction.”
“Tan Bao” (谭宝) is another Chinese name.
“Tan” (谭) is a surname that originated in the southern part of China, and it means “talkative” or “chatty” in Chinese.
“Bao” (宝) means “treasure” or “jewel.”
Wheatley “小麦” (xiǎo mài) literally means “small wheat”
Prosperity Bay Community 利海小区 Li Hai Community “利” meaning “benefit, advantage” and “海” meaning “sea”
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