Chapter 139: Triggering the Conditions
Not far from the cemetery was a ‘small villa’ which had now become a rest stop for You Huo and the others. To compliment their identity as criminals, this was their hideout.
This place was actually an exhibition hall for the small cemetery. With a simple café and seating by the windows on the second floor, it was a very suitable place for them to keep an eye out on the situation outside.
The first floor was very strange. All four walls were covered in photos large and small and there was a sign near the door which said: You can commemorate anyone here.
The photo frames were all black and the photos were posthumous photos. There were tens of thousands of people who have passed in this town and they were probably all displayed here. Everyone was expressionless, as if they came from the same assembly line.
Upon first entering this place, the students almost turned and ran.
But in the end, they still decided to use this place as their ‘hideout’ because there was a storage room underground that was large enough to hold the Mirror Humans in the town. Those that they have caught were all thrown in there.
Ordinary townsmen wouldn’t come near this place and examinees also didn’t dare enter.
Even the Mirror Humans became quiet and obedient here because their posthumous photos on the walls were practically proof and reminder to them that they could no longer be called a ‘living human’.
You Huo tied the two newly caught people to a pillar in the centre of the first floor. Tens of thousands of faces from the walls looked blankly back at them.
Five minutes ago, the person who was being apprehended immediately confessed: “I-I’m called Natt. This note was indeed…….indeed something I found first. It was because I just happened to enter the exam centre around that part of the town.”
“The conditions for conversion looked a little difficult and I didn’t dare try it on myself, so I lured some people over.” Natt’s English accent was very heavy, so he spoke slowly and intermittently.
“How many?” Qin Jiu asked.
Natt glanced over at Yves next to him and said, “The other three were very hesitant. I think they were probably scared. Only he went ahead without any hesitation. That’s why I decided to quietly follow him to see how it was and along the way……along the way, I tore off the note.”
You Huo asked: “Why tear it off?”
Naff: “To hide it.”
You Huo didn’t speak but his expression basically said, ‘Are you an idiot?’.
Something as ridiculous as this was actually being treated like a treasure by someone? It was unbelievable.
Natt’s lips twitched a few times.
He seemed to have wanted to say something to refute but he quickly swallowed those words back down.
This person clearly still knew something and had no intention to spill everything out.
After asking a few more times and not getting anything out of him, Qin Jiu nodded, “Alright.”
He straightened up and said to You Huo, “Wait for me” before turning to go upstairs.
Natt watched Qin Jiu leave unhurriedly and for some reason felt nervous.
Soon afterwards, Qin Jiu reappeared with something in his hands.
Before Natt could make it out, Yves next to him reacted very fiercely. He grunted and started to struggle to break free from the ropes and clearly looked very agitated.
Natt’s expression changed. He finally knew what it was.
It was blood!
Qin Jiu carried a ball of blood-soaked gauze and dangled it directly in front of Yves’ nose. The smell of blood stimulated every part of Yves’ senses, causing him to gradually lose control of himself.
You Huo suddenly grabbed Yves’ shoulders and turned him around.
Examinee Natt was now facing the extremely hungry Yves. Yves opened his mouth at him and——–
“I’ll speak!” Natt fell to the ground and twisted around like a big white worm, “Take him away! Take him away!”
Di Li who heard the commotion rushed over to grab the gauze from Qin Jiu. He purposefully threw it far, far away so as not to cause internal trouble among the teammates.
Qin Jiu thanked him and wiped off the blood on his fingertips on Natt’s shirt collar.
Yves stared unblinkingly at that place with his teeth bared. As he struggled to move closer, Natt was about to go crazy.
“You-you guys are too——” Natt held back for a while before finally squeezing out: “Rogues! Gangsters!”
You Huo just ‘oh’ed’ apathetically.
Qin Jiu laughed, “Thank you for the compliment but you can no longer escape. Instead of cursing, why don’t you say something useful instead?”
Natt was made exhausted by their torture. He slumped lifelessly against the pillar and said, “Before I entered this exam, I have actually tried to obtain some information. You should know, as long as you have something useful you can use it to exchange for information at some rest stops. I asked a few people and fortunately someone had happened to mention something about this joint examination.”
Qin Jiu said, “The contents of joint examinations like these are different every time.”
Natt: “But the background is the same and the theme should be similar, right? Besides, it’s better knowing something than knowing nothing.”
“Then what did you find out?” You Huo asked.
Please read this from kk translates
Natt continued, “The most important thing for this exam is to survive. Haven’t you noticed? The question earlier only talked about how a Mirror Human can be killed and how a townsman can be killed. It didn’t say how many days this would go on for, and what needed to be done for it to end. It is said that this exam centre is strictly controlled such that once a certain condition is met, the system would finally release its final question.”
“The conditions each time are different, so it is difficult to guess. But no matter what, examinees are constantly on the move and no one knows when that condition will be met. Until then, I must ensure that I am alive. It doesn’t matter if I’m a townsman or a Mirror Human, it’s enough as long as I’m alive.”
“Naturally, it is easier surviving as a Mirror Human.” Natt said, “The longer time you spend in this exam centre, the more dangerous it is for the townsmen because the imbalance in power is too much. I know you’re thinking that it’s too difficult getting one hundred townsmen together. Even if that is achievable, a Mirror Human can only convert a townsmen every three days and since there are one hundred, it’ll take a year here, right?”
He shook his head and snorted, “It actually isn’t the case. I’ve checked it. Let me use an example. If I convert you, you would then be considered as my child—–”
Just as he was explaining this proudly, he was met with You Huo’s icy gaze the moment he looked up. He swallowed and changed his words, “You converted me, and I would then be considered as your chil—no, I mean, subordinate. In short, in three days time, you and I can each convert a townsman and the one I convert would be added to your total, does that make sense? Then in another three days, the four of us could then each convert another one and they would all be added to your total.”
“It’s like a tree. I am a branch and all the fruit that grows from the twigs on this branch counts as mine. Since you’re the main trunk, everything including me is considered yours. Like this, it wouldn’t take long to accumulate one hundred townsmen.”
“You should know that the test time in joint examinations are always very long. I’m guessing that it would at least take this long.” He raised three fingers and spoke, “Because there are more people, the situation is more complicated and the question is tricky, it would actually be no surprise if it goes on for thirty days or more. You just need to meet the conditions and turn back into a townsman before the end of the exam.”
As Natt spoke, he looked up only to see that the expressions of the two men had remained unchanged. He couldn’t read their inner thoughts at all.
But that didn’t matter. He believed that those words alone were enough to let the other party understand their current situation.
“I know you want to change back to an ordinary townsman.” Natt said, “And I also want to live on safely. Why don’t we work together? I can use my identity as an ordinary person to help lure townsmen and examinees over to ensure that you have enough blood to drink and enough people to convert…….The condition is that my safety is guaranteed.”
Qin Jiu’s mouth was about to form a ridiculing smirk when Natt quickly added, “There also something else! I’ll voluntarily let you convert me. You can turn me unto a Mirror Human and then I can go catch the other townsmen and examinees. One to two, two to four, four to eight. Calculating it, you get twice the result with half the effort. You can save both your time and energy.”
Natt waited cautiously for the two to speak, “What do you think?”
You Huo looked down at him for a while before bending down, “What do you think?”
Natt, “It’s a really good deal.”
Two minutes later, Natt and his deal was tossed underground. Bound together with the extremely hungry Yves, he was surrounded by hundreds of similarly extremely hungry Mirror Humans.
Natt screamed in fright and instantly passed out.
Something like converting others was not something You Huo and them could do.
Regardless of whether it was 100 to 1 or 1 to 1.
The three walls on the first floor were covered in photos and only the fourth side had a large blank space left for the remaining townsmen and examinees.
Qin Jiu stood in front of that wall looking at a certain black and white photograph. The photo inside was a photo of You Huo.
Like the other Mirror Humans, he was expelled from the ranks of a ‘living human’ and was hung up for display in this showroom.
The photo was something the system had set as a default and was similar to their admission ticket. Only the head, shoulder and upper chest was shown in the photo and a part of the back of the sofa in which You Huo sat in could also be made out.
He wanted to ask You Huo if this photo was his own or if it was a photo captured by the system but before he could ask this, he suddenly got lost in thought.
Because when he looked at this photo, a scene suddenly surfaced in his mind…….
It was a particular night. He was discussing something in a colleague’s room, or was he just chatting? He could no longer remember.
Judging from the vague names being called, he had probably just become an invigilator at that time and was not yet 001.
They were in a living room with two large French windows beside the sofas forming a transparent corner. If they didn’t draw the curtains, they could clearly see everything outside.
There were some voices around him as he stood in front of the French window holding a glass gazing out.
Through the dark night outside, he could see another building. The living room also had large French windows and it just happened to face where he was standing.
He even remembered that there was a simple floor lamp in the corner and a grey-blue sofa next to it.
He pointed with the hand holding his glass and asked someone next to him, “Whose house is there?”
“Head Invigilator A.” A colleague answered.
An ice cube knocked against the glass and Qin Jiu left out a soft ‘ah’.
“Why?” The colleague asked.
Please read this from kk translates
“Nothing, just asking.” Qin Jiu said.
“Don’t just stand there. He has always hated this kind of open design so he should soon close the curtains.” The colleague then said.
Qin Jiu responded lazily but had no intention to move.
The floor lamp in Invigilator A’s living room intertwined with the light from the wall. Together it shone brilliantly onto the window.
You Huo’s tall and lean figure came down the stairs. He walked over to the coffee table, bent down to pick up a remote and seemed to be planning to close the curtains over the French windows.
Just as he was about to press the button, he suddenly paused and looked over.
After a long time, he turned his head back.
He threw the remote aside and sat down on the sofa, unbuttoned his cufflinks and lowered his head to look at the papers on the coffee table.
“Why are you lost in thought?” You Huo’s voice sounded.
Qin Jiu turned to look at him.
For a moment, he couldn’t even react. It took him a few seconds to return to his senses —— The person in that scene was now right by his side. There was no window or night separating them, he was now within reach.
Qin Jiu suddenly smiled and turned to point at the photo, “It’s nothing. Blame it on this person for having such a nice photo.”
You Huo looked at the black and white sombre photo and for a moment didn’t know whether his boyfriends’ sense of aesthetics was dead or if he was just joking with him.
The cost to change from a Mirror Human back to an ordinary townsman was too much. Everyone directly skipped over this and no longer took it into consideration.
They had gone around in a circle and had eventually returned to Qin Jiu’s initial suggestion ——- To end this exam quickly and use the Guaranteed Pass card to create a bug that would ensure that You Huo would not be eliminated.
If they wanted to end it quickly, it meant that the condition must be triggered as soon as possible for the system to release its final question. Afterall, they can only start to think of a way to end the exam once they know the final question.
Everyone discussed for a while what they thought the condition could be.
In the end, You Huo’s one line ended the discussion, “Just tie all the Mirror Humans up.”
Jonny and the others only had WTF on their faces.
But after some extra explanation, they finally understood the connection.
If they tied all the Mirror Humans up, it meant that there would no longer be anything threatening the examinees’ lives. If the system didn’t raise a new question, then what was the need for this exam centre?
Since the system didn’t want them to live comfortably, then they won’t let it either.
In just three days, this group of demons managed to capture most of the exam centre. The lives of the Mirror Humans were now at risk and they found themselves in dire straits. Their original position of superiority had completely disappeared.
And the worst part was that the culprits were the same kind as them.
Their speed, strength and keen senses were no inferior to theirs and the other party even had an extra brain.
How could they fight against this?
In such a situation, the examinees similarly rose up and their shooting skills improved by leaps and bounds. They even felt that they would be able to clear this exam as long as they could last another day or two.
On the fourth night, the system which had been silent all this time finally came online to report the triggering of the condition.
Its voice reverberated within the streets of the town of Brandon.
【There are two conditions that can trigger the final question for this exam.】
【1. The number of living Mirror Humans is 20% less than the number of townsmen.】
【2. The number of living townsmen is 40% less than the number of Mirror Humans.】
【The current examination centre has met the first condition and it has been determined that the Mirror Humans have no chance of reversing the situation. Once all Mirror Humans are cleared, the current exam will be over.】
【Good luck everyone.】
When the broadcast sounded, You Huo and the others were standing on the roof of a shabby shop.
The buildings here generally only have two or three floors and this shop here was the tallest amongst them with a total of four and a half floors.
Their three-day oppressive victory had automatically made them the pillar of admiration for the examinees and a large number of examinees had gathered on the roof with them. This group effect conversely lured all the Mirror Humans within the area over.
They stood in a circle around the roof with the intention to do a final cleanup.
But that broadcast just now stopped everyone from firing out their attacks.
You Huo and the others were also taken aback.
Their original plan was to quickly end the exam and then use the Guaranteed Pass card to offset You Huo’s elimination.
But now the requirement was to ‘clear all Mirror Humans’. This naturally included themselves as well.
They found themselves in a dead end.
The lower floors were piled with shrivelled skins of Mirror Humans and several examinees who ran a little faster ran around trying to retrieve the arrows from the floor.
As soon as they straightened up, they heard a sudden ‘whoosh’ through the air.
Whether it was the direction it came from or the direction it flew to, it was different from before.
They were stunned for a few seconds before suddenly realising that the arrows were shot from a somewhere else, not from the rooftop.
“What’s happening?” They shared a look and rushed to the top of the building three steps at a time.
What they were met with was the sight of Yang Shu and Old Yu each having been hit by an arrow and were currently bleeding out. Although it didn’t hit them in the vitals, it still gave them a surprisingly strong impact.
Everyone’s expressions were ashen, as if half their life and energy had been sucked out.
Wu Li knelt by their side treating them while You Huo and the rest stood around the two of them staring icily at a certain roof on the opposite side.
The roof was completely silent. All the examinees were confused by this suddenly change.
Several figures cautiously appeared on the top of the opposite building. One of it happened to be the man with the buzzcut. He turned his head to the side and said, “Didn’t you hear what the system said just now? Clear all the Mirror Humans. All of them. The ones you’re standing around are Mirror Humans.”
“We have been following them around for several days now and we know they have used a team card and is considered one person. Do you know what this means?” The buzzcut man spoke, “Just one more arrow. No matter who is hit, this team will bee gone and completely cleared. They are easier to deal with than other Mirror Humans.”
Still, no one on the rooftop spoke. Some of the examinees looked hesitantly over at You Huo and the others.
The buzzcut man continued, “What are you standing around for?! Shoot them! You don’t want to end the exam?!”
His suddenly raised voice surprised several of the examinees into backing away slightly. They raised and lowered their hands, hesitating.
You Huo frowned. His back slowly tensed.
Just as several two of them finally raised their weapons, several figures suddenly flashed by, shielding them behind.
It was Di Li, Jonny and them.
“Come. Come shoot here if you dare.” Di Li pointed at his own head.
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Cheers to Di Li!!