Outside the “game”
This time, he wasn’t teleported through the door, and in the blink of an eye, Lu Chu had already returned to that white and empty room, with the thirteen square screens known as ‘rules’ quietly floating in the air.
This space was too quiet, to the point where it didn’t even have an echo, and Lu Chu could clearly hear the sound of his own breathing.
He looked down at the time on his bracelet – 74’59”.
Sure enough, if a single-person task increased the time by ten minutes, then a two-person task would increase the time by twenty minutes.
Before this, he had seen that Song Gui’s had more than 150 minutes. Once, he had thought that this meant that Song Gui had experienced at least dozen of games, but it seemed that this might not be the case. However, Song Gui could have once chosen to refuse the tasks, and let the time on his bracelet gradually disappear.
The time in the room passed by, and Lu Chu sat on the ground, closing his eyes to rest. He didn’t know how long had passed, but when he heard the familiar ‘beep’, he looked towards the on his hand, and the time had turned to “69’59””.
At the same time, a door appeared before his eyes. The inside of the door was dark, and he couldn’t see where it reached to.
Without hesitating, Lu Chu walked into the door.
Once he stepped out of the door, everything suddenly turned bright. This time, the illusion was a clean street, and there were various shops along the street; a toy shop, instrument shop, stationary shop, a large supermarket, a clothing store, and there was even a Japanese stall at the end of the street.
Lu Chu looked around as he walked, and couldn’t help but lament about how realistic this illusion looked.
As he walked into the Japanese stall at the end of the street, Song Gui was still here, eating sashimi with saké.
Lu Chu laughed, “you really know how to enjoy yourself.”
Song Gui turned to look at him, and shouted excitedly, “Lu Xiaochu!”
“Don’t call me Lu Xiaochu anymore.”
“Chuchu!” This was the way Song Gui had called Lu Chu when they first met, and at that time, Lu Chu didn’t have the time to correct him.
Lu Chu conceded, “Lu Xiaochu is fine.”
Lu Chu sat down and ordered something to eat. While he was waiting, a girl who seemed to be around twelve to thirteen years old came in. She looked sweet and very obedient with her short stature, yet she was carrying a huge hammer on her shoulder. She came over to Song Gui, gave him a smile, and the hammer came crashing down. Song Gui seemed to have long been prepared for this, and dodged the little Loli’s attack. However, the stool that he sat on wasn’t spared, and was smashed to pieces.
She didn’t mind that her attack was avoided, and instead, she shouted, “give me a takeaway of everything!”
The food was soon cooked, and she carried a big bag of food on the other side of her shoulders and walked out the door.
Lu Chu was curious, “wasn’t it a machete the last time?”
Song Gui changed his chair and didn’t take this matter seriously, “she often changes it, machete, sickle, axe. The bigger the better. She can’t take it into the ‘game’ anyways. I don’t know what she’s obsessed about, as if she’ll be uncomfortable without carrying something on her shoulders.”
The food Lu Chu ordered had arrived. His original world didn’t have such a thing like ‘Japanese food’, so he simply ordered something, and got corn tea as the drink.
When Song Gui saw this, he shook his head, “why didn’t you order some alcohol?”
Lu Chu said, “I don’t drink alcohol that much.”
Song Gui didn’t force him, but gave a toast and said, “come on, to celebrate the success of our mission.”
Lu Chu raised his glass to meet his.
The two of them casually chatted, and Song Gui said, “I really didn’t read you wrongly. I didn’t even hesitate at all when choosing your name when entering into the game.”
“We have to choose a teammate after choosing to enter?” Lu Chu asked.
“Wow!” Song Gui made an exaggerated expression, “it can’t be, Lu Xiaochu, for the mission that the two of us went on just now, you went in directly without choosing me?”
Lu Chu gave a slight smile, and shook his head honestly, “no. You didn’t tell me that I had to choose.”
Song Gui didn’t feel guilty at all, “no problem, no problem. In any case, I chose you. The important bit is that since we’re only temporarily teaming up, I forgot to choose a team captain. Generally, as long as one person chose several other teammates to work together for the task, and the teammates chose the same task within a specific time, everybody in the team would be teleported into the same ‘game’. If there’s only one person for a multi-person task, or there isn’t enough people, nobody can enter.
“What do you mean,” Lu Chu asked, “do you mean that a single person can’t choose a two-person or multi-person task, and that three people can’t get into a five-person task and so on?”
Song Gui nodded, “that’s it, the teammates must be clearly selected, furthermore, you can only team up with the people under the same rules.”
“’Under the same rules’,” Lu Chu was unsure, “this isn’t the first time I’ve heard you say this, does this mean that there are other ‘rules’?”
Speaking of this, Song Gui expression turned serious, and after a moment of silence, he said, “there is.”
Lu Chu showed an expression of realisation.
Song Gui explained, “this was something that I found out when I carried out a five-person group mission with others before, at that time, based on the idea that the greater the amount of people on a task, the more ‘time’ you would get, I teamed up with four other people who looked okay, and seemed reliable, and chose a multi-person task. The clues and tips given were very simple, and after entered, we discovered that it was an abandoned nursing home, and what we have to do was – fight with other people in the rules. At the same time, we had to avoid a humanoid monster chasing to kill us, and within a certain amount of time, if no players – let’s just call us players – died, then it’ll randomly kill one of us.”
Lu Chu could imagine how the scene would be like at that time.
“You know this, that people under the same rule can’t harm each other. This is the biggest guarantee we have when we do the same task, to prevent us from being suspicious of our own teammates. Nobody wanted to die in this place, and every hour, if no player had died, ‘it’ would randomly kill someone, so we tried our best to kill each other’s teammates, and in the end, when the time was up, in my team, only two people survived.”
Lu Chu frowned, “you and?”
“The one you saw just now,” Song Gui said, “that young little brat.”
Lu Chu was very surprised upon hearing this. Although he could vaguely feel the killing intent from the girl, and Song Gui had reminded him the last time, but he still didn’t expect her to be so tough.
Song Gui took a sip of alcohol and raised his eyebrows, “I remember I told you before, her name is Luo Qi, and she arrived at this place earlier than I did. There’s already more than 500 minutes on her watch, and this is the longest time out of anybody I’ve met. You also know about this game, experiencing a game, can help you accumulate experiences that you haven’t experience while living in a peaceful world for more than dozens of years. I don’t know if she’s been this strong all along, or slowly became like this after coming here, but in any case, she’s a ruthless person.”
Lu Chu looked at the broken stool next to him, and nodded, “I can tell.”
“Oh right, did I tell you this before?” Song Gui suddenly asked him.
Lu Chu asked, “what?”
Song Gui said, “take a blanket, a couple sets of clothing, or even bring a foldable single bed into your room or something. Although everything in this place is fake, but your feelings are real.”
Lu Chu instantly understood what he meant, “I’ll see what I can add later.”
This was probably how people were like, they were obviously in danger, yet they would still do their best to entertain themselves, and enjoy life.
That was why they didn’t collapse, and continued to live on.
The two of them had a peaceful meal, and Song Gui suddenly asked Lu Chu, “what are you considering for the next game? Want to form a team with me?”
Lu Chu was a little shocked, and thought about what 7 had told him; to choose a single player task the next round, so he gave a gentle smile, “I’m really touched by your team invite, and I plan to join you. However, I’m still a newcomer, and I’m not outstanding in any way, so I need to slowly understand many different things. In addition, multi-person tasks tend to be more dangerous and difficult, so I would rather do a few more solo missions, in order to improve my abilities, before joining multi-person tasks.”
Song Gui raised his glass and smiled, “of course, for our future collaboration, cheers.”
They clinked their glasses, and everybody was happy.
Song Gui was very clear whether Lu Chu was outstanding or not. In the previous game, both of them were testing each other – to see if the other had the ability to be each other’s teammate, and whether they were worthy of trust. Even during the course of this trial, most of the time, Song Gui took on a spectator role, and let Lu Chu solve the puzzle alone.
Needless to say, Lu Chu’s ability was extremely outstanding. He was calm, well-organised, had his thoughts in order, and especially his psychic abilities, caused Song Gui to pay a lot of attention to it. Of course, the most important thing was that Lu Chu, as a person, was worthy of Song Gui’s trust, which made him willing to let the other man be in his team.
After all, under the constraint of the rules, while they couldn’t hurt each other, they could turn a blind eye.