Chapter 123: Dying Soon After Landing
Under the invigilator’s supervision, they returned to the building following the same path they used when they left. They hadn’t gone far before Yu Wen became afraid. It was because there was a mass of graves lining the forest.
“You guys are so miserable. Don’t you feel afraid staying here?” Yu Wen asked.
“No.” 154 said calmly.
922 who had just opened his mouth to reply could only quietly close it again.
After a while, he spoke through gritted teeth, “Invigilators are fearless.”
When they finally came out of that forest filled with graves, the town was just down a gentle slope.
“The town down this slope is the exam centre. We will only take you until here.” 154 said.
【Examinee You Huo detected to have returned to the exam centre. Invigilators, please leave.】 A speaker on a telephone pole near the forest emitted static sounds.
“Okay, we will be taking our leave now.”
The invigilators bid their farewells and left. 154 walked a little before turning back and winking at You Huo and Qin Jiu.
“What’s going on?” Chu Yue who noticed this small action of his asked You Huo in a small voice.
“Just letting us know that we’ve been blocked.” You Huo said.
154 had said that the system would check whether they have entered the examination centre so he could only block them from being monitored after they had entered.
That small action earlier was something they had agreed on in advance. In a blink of an eye they were not longer being watched by the system and have regained freedom.
“Block?” Chu Yue was surprised, “Is it what I think it means?”
“Yes.” Qin Jiu looked around, “Can you feel a change?”
People like them who have been watched over by the system for many years could faintly sense the systems existence —– That feeling in the air was indeed gone.
Chu Yue said, “I can feel it. Do you know what came to mind?”
Qin Jiu: “What?”
“I feel like someone who had just loosened their belt after eating until their stomach is bloated.” Chu Yue said, “It feels great. How did you do it?”
“What do you think?” Qin Jiu smiled, “Someone helped.”
Chu Yue looked back behind her. The invigilators were already gone, leaving only white fog at the end of the forest.
“154?” She whispered.
This matter would require quite a lot of explaining but fortunately Chu Yue was very clever and managed to guess the general gist of it. As for the specifics, there was no need to get it out of them right now.
Down the gentle slope was a road with a black sign erected by the side that was painted with black letters.
Brandon Town 200m
“Is this the sign we saw before?” Yu Wen mumbled.
When they went to the invigilator’s place, they also saw a similar sign.
“Is it this one? It shouldn’t be.” Shu Xue stared at the sign.
You Huo also felt that it didn’t look like it.
“But the road and that bend. I remember it. And also that tree that was stuck by lightning. Look at the black part.” Shu Xue pointed at a half-burnt tree.
She often shuttled through examination centres and would subconsciously find a landmark so as not to get lost.
You Huo stared at the sign again. After lifting his hand to fiddle with his earring, he finally understood why it felt strange.
“The sign changed locations.” You Huo said. “Changed from left side to the right side.”
That was why he felt that the environment seemed strange.
“Not just the sign,” Qin Jiu said, “The entire road has changed sides.”
It was as if someone had flipped everything around.
The left turn in the road now turned to the right, the tree on the left was now on the right. Everything was flipped, like a mirror image.
They passed through that bend with strange expressions and was met with a familiar scene.
Shirley’s house was by the side of the road and the basketball court was opposite the road. Between them was the road in which they were now walking along.
The coastline could be vaguely made out at one end and the other end was obscured by white fog.
The speaker rustled and the speaker sounded again.
【It is now 11:55am. There are 5 minutes until the official start of the second stage of the exam. All examinees please make your necessary preparations and come out from the shelter.】
You Huo looked around. The only place that could be considered a shelter here was Shirley’s house……The house where a family of three had died in.
In the other exam centres, the examinees who heard this announcement all stopped in place.
After a few seconds of shock, they reacted. They picked up their bags and carefully pulled open the door.
Please read this from kk translates
It was still a lone street and a lone basketball court outside. Nothing had changed.
【Brandon Town is a beautiful coastal town with a population of about 50,000. All the townsmen here enjoyed a comfortable life, but the town had gradually become strange over the past few years.】
【At first, someone mysteriously disappeared, and the police couldn’t find them even after a search. The townsmen comforted the grieving family and felt a little worried, but it didn’t affect their normal lives. Later, even the person who made the police report and the policemen conducting the search disappeared. It was only then that they felt that the situation was bad.】
【But these bad days didn’t last long. Those people who had gone missing soon reappeared one after another saying that they had accidentally gotten lost, or just wanted to go on a trip to destress and didn’t tell anyone. The townsmen were warm and honest, and readily believed those words, throwing the disappearance incidents to the back of their mind. This continued until one day, they encountered a new problem.】
“As expected of a joint exam. The question is so long…..” Yu Wen muttered.
The system was still on the roll. It had changed its approach this time and felt that it was necessary to clearly explain the background.
【……..Those who had returned after disappearing frequently started to make unusual mistakes; confusing left with right, driving down the wrong side of the road and even taking the wrong way home. After that, they noticed that those who were left-handed had become right-handed and they would always place things in the reverse order from usual.】
You Huo suddenly thought of Shirley’s parents’ diary. They had mentioned in there that their enthusiastic neighbours had helped with the cabinets and wallpapers but had accidentally installed the door reversed and flipped the wallpaper around.
【The townsmen finally realised that those missing people hadn’t actually returned. The ones who had returned weren’t the original, but a monster. They called these monsters ‘Mirror Humans’. Since then, the entire town of Brandon had fallen into chaos. Those Mirror Humans were constantly hungry but were much stronger and faster than normal people. There were only two ways for them to alleviate their hunger; casting living humans into the mirror or drinking their blood.】
【The townsmen were reluctant to wait for their deaths and began to resist. They made crossbows specifically for killing the Mirror Humans and hid them in various locations in the town. Three arrows were enough to kill a Mirror Human.】
【The Mirror Humans also weren’t outdone, and their faction constantly grew. Every three days after a Mirror Human has eaten their fill, a new comrade will be produced by a mirror.】
【There are a number of magic tall mirrors scattered across the town which can swallow up to five people a day and can be shattered with fifty arrows.】
Old Yu clutched his head, “Wait a second. My head is a little dizzy. What rubbish is this? I can’t seem to wrap my head around it.”
Wu Li said, “Don’t worry about it, just remember two numbers; 5 and 3.”
Yu Wen, “Just seeing those two numbers together makes me feel dizzy.”
Wu Li didn’t understand, “Why?”
Yu Wen, “Giant student pack. Five years of university entrance exams and three years of practice papers.” (KKnotes: He’s referring to a book of past exam papers haha)
Wu Li: “…….This memory of yours…”
“Okay.” Yu Wen counted with his fingers as he muttered, “One mirror eats five people a day, fifty arrows can destroy a mirror, three arrows can kill a Mirror Human and the Mirror Human conceives every three days.”
Old Yu: “I may have Alzheimer’s. I still don’t get it.”
Yu Wen: “Use the skills you use when you calculate the bill.”
They were in a better position. At least with more people they had the chance to talk and discuss.
The examinees in the other exam centres almost rolled their eyes to the back of their heads.
Fortunately, after experiencing several exams they had already turned on the recording function on their phone to record the whole thing down.
Even now the system had not stopped. It continued to chatter on.
Qin Jiu suddenly lowered his head and said, “When we have the chance later, I think I need my ears checked.”
You Huo was stunned: “Hurt?”
“No. I just suddenly noticed that the systems voice sounds a little like yours, and just didn’t notice it before.”
You Huo: “My voice sounds like that???”
In fact, they really do sound familiar. Part of it was probably through imitation but with the change in tone and intonation, the two voices were also different. One sounded very nice, making others have the urge to tease him.
As for the other one……It made people want to blow it up.
Qin Jiu very quickly regretted his actions.
Because as soon as Mr. Invigilator A heard him say that, he resolutely decided to become a mute.
【Friendly reminder: The townsmen without crossbows are completely defenceless and are afraid to be alone so they will always work together in groups. It is however too dangerous to have too many people. A total of ten or more people together makes the group similar to that of freshly roasted chicken and would attract all the Mirror Humans within 500m. Please be careful.】
“So we have to play the role of a townsmen.” Qin Jiu mused.
You Huo didn’t make a single sound and just nodded.
Qin Jiu: “…….”
The system finally finished the suffocatingly long question and began to announce the exam style. Sure enough, it said:
【This stage of the exam takes the form of a participation styled exam. All examinees initially enter the town of Brandon by default as an ordinary town resident. As of now, there are 2019 normal people left and 1022 Mirror Humans.】
All the examinees frowned when they heard the two numbers.
This was data after including them as normal townsmen. This basically meant that the moment they enter Brandon Town, two out of every three people they meet may be a Mirror Human! (KKnotes: ???)
Who the hell are you trying to scare?!
【Every activity in the exam will result in an increase or decrease in points. If you act in act in accordance to your identity, you will get bonus points and vice versa.】
【For example: Examinee A who is currently playing the role of an ordinary town resident kills a Mirror Human – gains 3points, mistakenly kills another ordinary resident – loses 3 points, destroys a mirror – gains 10 points, breaks a weapon – loses 5 points.】
You Huo keenly captured the key words —– currently playing the role of an ordinary town resident.
What did that mean?
Does it mean that examinees would also have moments where they need to play the role of a Mirror Human?
He nudged Qin Jiu and opened his mouth to speak.
But when he thought of the matter with his voice, he once again closed his mouth under Qin Jiu’s watch.
Qin Jiu: “…….”
Mr. 001 felt very despaired. How could he be so cruel making Mr. A too ashamed to speak.
But although You Huo didn’t speak, the others had started to discuss amongst themselves.
“No, wait. When we enter the town, we don’t have any weapons. What if we get unlucky and run into a wave of Mirror Humans immediately?” Yu Wen fretted, “It’s too unreasonable. Is this a joint exam or a joint cemetary?”
In this joint exam, he wasn’t the only one complaining.
Like it was answering his question, the system added:
【Townsmen who don’t have weapons can try to run to the nearest shelter. There is a total of ten shelters in this coastal town. Please remember the appearance of the small building behind you because it will be identical to that. Examinees hiding out in the shelters are safe from attacks.】
【The maximum hiding time is two hours and each shelter can hide up to two examinee. Not all examinees have the privilege to use the shelter. All examinees in the exam are ranked by their scores and only the top 50% have the right to enter.】
【The rank is calculated based on the first stage scores.】
The expressions of Yu Wen and the others were pale. Because they had focused on other matters, they hadn’t written many correct answers and had instead written many incorrect lenses. There was even one question they didn’t manage to answer.
Soon after that, each examinee heard their score and rank.
The speaker reported emotionlessly:
【Examinee You Huo. Rank based on points from the first stage: 99%. Currently cannot access the shelter. Please work hard.】
After the scores were reported, a line of words appeared on the back of everyone’s hands like tattoos to further engrave the shameful results.
Yu Wen rubbed it a few times, “Can’t be erased.”
Yang Shu said: “Future scores and ranks would probably be displayed here.”
The eight of them were all the same.
And at last……
The system concluded:
【The main town of Brandon is at the end of the road. The first stage of the exam will disappear in five seconds. Good luck.】
Behind them the white fog began to swallow up Shirley’s house.
You Huo grabbed Qin Jiu and strode over to the end of the road.
The town of Brandon finally appeared.
Different from what they had imagined, there were no buildings with colourful roofs or flourishing flowers and grass. All that could be seen were empty streets and dull, grey buildings.
Please read this from kk translates
It was cloudy and most of the streetlights were broken. It flickered on and off as it struggled to work.
Like London from a certain century, the upper half of the buildings were submerged in thick, grey fog and visibility was quite poor. If they weren’t careful, there was a chance that someone could suddenly rush out from there.
But the entire town was extremely quiet, so quiet it felt like the city was dead.
“Where did all the townsmen and Mirror Humans go?”
“Probably hiding somewhere. Who would walk around the streets in broad daylight?”
“We seem to be doing that.”
Qin Jiu hushed them and listened carefully.
Not far away there were footsteps. It echoed in the fog and seemed to be hurrying along the road. They probably belonged to other examinees who had similarly also just entered.
The other party seemed to have sensed that they were being to loud and quickly lightened their steps.
The surroundings once again returned to silence. It was a little unsettling.
“Find weapons first.” Qin Jiu said in a low voice.
As mentioned in the question, the townsmen had made crossbows that can be used specifically to kill Mirror Humans and had hidden them throughout the town. Since they are unfortunate examinees ranked in the bottom 99%, they had to give up the idea of taking shelter and be prepared for the worst. The first step was the get their hands on a weapon.
You Huo already had his eyes on a place.
It was a small movie theatre that was like a round castle. A large faded lightboard that was covered in dust hung above it. Who knew how long it had been closed for?
A stone statue had fallen on the ground, blocking most of the door. The windows on the sides were shattered and stained with blood from who knows what year.
You Huo made a gesture before quietly walking towards the window.
Yu Wen looked at the building and felt that since it looked like a rather big building there should be many things inside. As for people……..there should be many people too.
He suddenly felt like he was playing PUBG in real life.
His brother had taken the lead to jump off the plane while he was about to turn into a coffin as soon as he landed.
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