“Bang!”

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With a loud noise, the huge spotlight suddenly lit up.
The dazzling light as bright as day dispelled the darkness, and everything was instantly visible.

Wen Jianyan shrank back subconsciously and raised his hand to block the sudden glare.

【The next live broadcast will start in five minutes.】

An emotionless female voice rang out, and the harsh sound rolled and echoed in the narrow space.

Wen Jianyan blinked his eyes after a brief glance.
Although there was still a buzzing sound in his ears, the chaotic light spots gradually dissipated.

……what’s the situation?

After a few seconds, his eyes finally got used to the harsh light.

This is a room with a size of no more than five square metres.

He is now standing in the centre of the room, with nothing beside him.
The walls on all four sides are completely transparent, and a bright red countdown flashes on the glass, which is slowly moving around him at the moment.

[04:25]

Four minutes and twenty-five seconds.

The numbers decreased evenly, giving a sense of imminent uneasiness.

“…..”

Wen Jianyan stared thoughtfully at the camera in the room for two seconds.

Immediately afterwards, he retracted his gaze, stepped forward slowly, and looked out through the gap between the numbers.

Outside is a boundless pure white space, with hundreds of identical small rooms floating.
There was a person locked in each room, and a bright red countdown was displayed on the wall.

Outside the small room, there are large and small cameras in all directions.
Some are as tall as a building, some need to be carried by several people, and some are only the size of a palm.
Countless metal circles flashed with a strange lustre under the light, silently aiming at the prisoners, giving them the feeling that they are being watched by aliens.

It’s downright creepy.

The prisoners in the small rooms all have different expressions.

Wen Jianyan found that all the trapped people in the nearest rooms were pale, dazed and frightened.
Some curled up in the corner of the room, some collapsed in fear, some were screaming hysterically under the weird camera, and some were beating the transparent wall.

The glass blocked all the sounds.

It’s like watching an absurd pantomime.

The people in the distance were expressionless, waiting calmly for the countdown to end.

At this moment, a lively voice sounded, interrupting Wen Jianyan’s thinking.
   
“Hello, new anchor, I’m your personal assistant and will serve you from today.”
   
Wen Jianyan was startled and turned to look in the direction of the voice.
   
He saw a light screen of the size of a palm appear in front of him, with his resume printed on it.
   
Photos, names, and even……his life history.
   
It is detailed and comprehensive, covering almost his entire life.
Even including the experience that does not belong to the name “Wen Jianyan”, but which he has actually experienced and no one knows except himself.
   
Wen Jianyan pursed his lips subconsciously, looked down at lines, and paused for a few seconds on the last sentence of his resume.
   
——Sign a soul contract with the Nightmare Live Studio and become an active rookie anchor.

The voice sounded again:
  
“I’m opening an E-level live broadcast room for you…”
   
“The exclusive live room 789326qwk has been opened!”

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The empty live broadcasting backstage appeared on the light screen, and the number of online viewers was displayed in the lower right corner: 0
   
“That…can I ask a question?”
   
Wen Jianyan has a good voice.
It is shallow, magnetic, soft, and can become low and ambiguous with a little pressure.
If he controls the rhythm of articulation, he can easily gain the favour and trust of almost anyone.
   
“Of course.”
   
The young man raised his eyes.
   
His eyes were of a gentle amber colour.
Under the strong light, the colour appeared a little light, and there was a strong sense of deceptive harmlessness.
He frowned slightly, and there was a bit of well-controlled distress in his eyes:
   
“Can I change the name of the live broadcast room?”
   
He seemed a little embarrassed, and shyly added:
   
“The name is so ugly now.”
   
“…..”

This type of question should not be asked in such a situation at all.   

After a short pause of a few seconds, the smart assistant replied:
   
“Not for now.”
   
“However, after reaching a certain amount of points in the account, the system points mall will be opened for you, and you can spend the points to buy a renaming card.”

The other party didn’t seem to have any malice at all, and continued lively:
   
“I hope to serve you again.”
   
“Thank you.”

Wen Jianyan raised his eyes, looked at the camera, and smiled briefly and happily.

The thin and light red lips formed a small arc, revealing a smile from the heart, and the dark pupils shrank under the strong light, appearing sincere and genuine.

“I also hope to see you soon.”

The scarlet countdown on the glass wall finally reached zero.

The voice resounded again, echoing in the empty white world, as if it was being surrounded by layers from all directions, deafening and terrifying:

【Welcome to the Nightmare live broadcast room, the next live broadcast will start immediately.】

The already dazzling light suddenly became brighter, frantically overloaded, like countless suns being condensed in a narrow room.
The metal circle of the camera was almost half-melted in the strong light, the lens retracted and contracted rapidly as if it was a living creature.

Wen Jianyan had to close his eyes.
Across the bright thin eyelids that were illuminated, the light that made his eyes hurt could not be completely blocked, causing a fine needle-like pain.

At this time, The mechanical female voice became emotionally vibrant:

【Our aim is to entertain to death!】

***

The live broadcast has started.

There are countless channels connected to the huge live broadcast square.
Each channel leads to a different live broadcast hall.
Each hall is densely packed with countless small screens.
The list hangs in the air, and various scenes are spinning rapidly, waiting to be selected by greedy spectators.

[There are so many new anchors this time, I’m so excited.]

[This is the largest number of new people introduced to the live broadcast room, right? I have never seen so many live broadcast halls below Grade D in the square before.]

[There are so many newcomers, so there should not be many A-level or above squares openings this time right?]

[I’m so disappointed, what’s so good about the newcomers’ screaming and running away and not believing in the evil and old tricks.
I’ll just sit and wait for the old anchors to start the broadcast.]

[Of course, the old anchors are very entertaining.
But after all, they are all familiar faces, and I’m tired of watching them.]

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[Moreover, the expressions of despair and collapse of those newcomers after realising their current situation… I really can’t see enough of it.]

[Hahahahahahahahaha, screams and blood also have their charms.]

Among them, a live broadcast hall named “Decai1 Middle School” opened. 

The blood-red colour logo flashed under the instance’s name.

Lobby Difficulty Level: D
The highest unlocking progress in history: 72%
Viewing value: E

At the bottom, there is a small sign with several lines of text written in bronzing words:

For your and others’ viewing experience, please follow the rules in the live room and no spoilers are allowed in the barrage.

After brief dizziness, Wen Jianyan opened his eyes.

The overhead fan creaks and whistles, emitting an exhaustive hum, looking at it for too long can make you feel dizzy.

The young man had broad shoulders and long legs.
He was lying on the narrow bed, a little restrained.

He sat up and looked around silently.

This is an old-fashioned student dormitory.
The walls were crooked and dirty, covered with wallpaper of no apparent original colour, filthy dark brown and dirty yellow water stains seeping from below.

In the narrow room, there are four bunk beds, and the rust-red colour peeled off from the iron armrests.

A mirror with a missing corner was attached to the cabinet on the opposite bed.
The surface of the mirror was dirty and had greasy handprints.
In the dim light, only a vague figure could be seen in it.

On the table beside him were piles of messy books, covered with dust.

Wen Jianyan was lying on the bottom bunk of one of the beds.

There was an indescribably strange smell in the air that made it hard to breathe.

In the lower right corner of his line of sight is a translucent light screen.

【Live room 789326qwk】
【Status: On air】
【Online viewers: 3】

The number of online viewers fluctuates between 0 and 3.

No one posted any comments, as if they were just clicking in to watch like a bored audience.

There was no one else in the room beside him.

Wen Jianyan lowered his eyes, his long straight eyelashes cast a little shadow on his white face.
There was no emotion on his face, and he seemed to be extremely calm.

He rolled over, got out of bed and then——

He started retching while leaning on the table beside him.

The back of the young man’s shirt trembled slightly with the sound of vomiting, the arm holding the edge of the table exerted force, and the blue veins burst out on the well-defined forearm.

After a long time, he finally stopped.

The mask of ease and calmness at the beginning was shattered and disappeared like melting snow.
The corners of the young man’s eyes were wet and red, and the previously calm and unwavering facial features instantly became fresh and vivid, appearing particularly fragile and helpless in the dirty mirror.

That’s right.

What calmness, what composer…..
It’s all fake!

Wen Jianyan’s inner activities are completely incompatible with the above adjectives.

Any normal person will be frightened when they see the previous scene!

The red colour countdown, a broadcast full of malice, and strange cameras.
No matter how you look at it, it looks like a scene that only appears in a horror novel! Don’t mention how scary it is!

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Not to mention that he is the kind of person who cherishes his life the most!

However, over the years in his career, Wen Jianyan has developed the habit of being impeccable no matter how scared he is in his heart and how much pressure from the outside world.

It is even said that the more desperate he is, the calmer his face becomes.

Otherwise, he would have been put into a cement bucket and drowned in the sea as early as 800 years ago.

Wen Jianyan, a professional fraudster.
On the night after completing the biggest order in his life, after a transnational smuggling group successfully knocked out a huge sum of 2 billion and successfully absconded, he became a new anchor in the horror live broadcast room without any warning.

“…..”

Who else in the world is more unlucky than him?

Wen Jianyan’s facial features crumpled into a mess, suppressing the frustration surging in his heart.

He wiped the corners of his mouth and straightened up.

At this moment, the emotionless voice sounded again:
【In order to improve your live broadcast experience, the live broadcast room will customise a unique novice gift for you according to the quality of the anchor’s soul!!】

In such an infiltrating environment, the mechanical sound this time seemed even more strange.

However, the keywords of “soul quality” and “personal customisation” in this passage immediately made Wen Jianyan feel extraordinary.

He subconsciously let out a slight breath.

Based on years of professional experience, this so-called “novice gift” is likely to play a crucial role in his destiny.

【Ding! The novice gift package has been delivered, does the host want to open it?】

Wen Jianyan calmed down and said, “Open it.”

He saw a flash of light on the screen in front of him, and a colourful gift box popped open automatically.

In the lively sound effect, the gorgeous long silk was automatically torn off, the gift box bounced open with a “bang”, the animation interface disappeared, revealing a ——flower pot.

The earth-grey flower pot and the brown-black soil; it is unremarkable and has no distinctive features.

Other than that, it was empty and nothing else.

Wen Jianyan: “…..”

What?

He poked at the flower pot on the screen incredulously, hoping to find something else.

A line of text popped up.

【Product Name: Apple Seedling】

Wen Jianyan: “…..”

So, this is the gift package that is customized according to the attributes of the soul.
Which is very intimidating to hear, but in reality, it’s just an apple seedling that hasn’t sprouted yet?

What rubbish!

Is this a Newbie gift?

Are you sick!

Wen Jianyan closed the light screen expressionlessly.

He raised his head, subconsciously swept the place where he had just lay with his peripheral vision, and his gaze couldn’t help but pause slightly.

A card lay quietly on the pillow.

The card is thin, about the size of a palm, with straight edges, not paper, but more like metal.

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Wen Jianyan hesitated for two seconds, then stepped forward and carefully picked up the piece of paper.

【Identity Card】
Name: Cheng Wei
Age: 16
Occupation: First-year high school student of Decai Middle School
Related Plot: Not unlocked

Wen Jianyan turned the card over.

There is also a line on the back: Initial survival time allocation….

Wen Jianyan: ??

He flipped the card over and over a few times but didn’t find any other information.

That’s it?

Wen Jianyan frowned and raised his head suspiciously.

The moment he looked up, his heart jumped.
The cabinet door on the opposite bed seemed to slide open slightly more than before, and the mirror hanging on it happened to be facing him directly.

Wen Jianyan could clearly see the reflection of his face.
As well as……

Under the bed, he was just lying, was a smiling pale face.
Pure black eyes stared straight at him, and the corners of the lips that were curved upward like a mask gradually widened——

At that moment, Wen Jianyan felt a layer of cold sweat on his back.

His heart was pounding like it was going to pop out from his chest.

——Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

However, in the next second, the blurred face disappeared in the darkness.
Just like an illusion, it disappeared without a trace in an instant.

The screen, which had been silent for a long time, finally made some noise.
Several comments drifted sporadically.

[He didn’t even make a sound, the anchor’s psychological quality is good.]

[I was frightened.]

Wen Jianyan: “…..”

No, I just had a calm face.
In fact, my legs were already shaking.

He took a deep breath slowly and glanced down at the card in his hand again.
He doesn’t know when the line on the back of the card has changed.

【Survival time allocation completed.】

Below is the blood-red 20-minute countdown.

The number of people watching the live broadcast unknowingly reached double digits.

[Hey, Did I read it right? The survival time of the new anchor is twenty minutes?]

[Laughing, what kind of luck is this hahahahahahahahahaha.]

[Is he the only one here in this batch of newcomers? Less than an hour really is too bad.]

[Hahahahahahahaha, laughing, is this the real hell start?]

[I have never seen the anchor being entangled by ghosts as soon as he wakes up, I’ve learned a lot.]

“…..”

Wen Jianyan stared at the words for twenty minutes and fell into a brief silence.

Really, bad luck.1

T/N: Dé Cái (德才): Virtue and talent

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