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Xin Meng was about to reach the bus door when he was held by You Yi. He stopped and looked back at him.
“Be careful” You Yi’s words were brief.
“I will.” Xin Meng smiled. In fact, he was not as fearless as he appeared to be and was a little bit afraid, but he remembered what You Yi told him before: escape won’t solve the problem.
He can’t back away and since he needs to face it anyways, he needs to stay calm so he has a better chance of surviving instead of falling into despair. So that’s why, even if he’s forced, he must calm down and keep vigilant.
You Yi paused and didn’t immediately release his hand. The two stood on that position for a while and Xin Meng felt a little strange. He was about to ask when You Yi sighed and whispered in his ear: “If you can’t escape, close your eyes and clear your thoughts. That way you can avoid the pain of death.”
That deep and sexy voice echoed in his ears. Xin Meng got up in the bus and still couldn’t shake away the numbness on his body. When the bus started, he almost fell since he didn’t hold any handrails. Then he reflected about You Yi’s words.
Xin Meng faintly knew that You Yi appeared to know more than players should be allowed to, but that theory was very vague. If the accumulated experience came from clearing the game multiple times, Xin Meng had no way to make an accurate judgment.
All observations and judgments about You Yi would fail.
However, that’s not the time to think about it. He grabbed the closest armrest and looked at the people around him. Those people still maintained their original posture, looking at the window, playing with their phones or holding the handrail so they wouldn’t fall. No one changed because of his entrance, is it because he entered the right bus?
So if he rides this bus, will he be able to reach the end?
Xin Meng leaned against a seat and waited quietly. Five minutes passed, then ten, half an hour, two hours…
Xin Meng didn’t bring a watch so time was very vague, but he could perceive that a long time had passed. Why didn’t the bus reach it end?
That’s obviously an error!
Rather than a long time, the time inside the bus was stopped. Just like when they got stuck before, it seems he stopped the game’s progress because there’s something he didn’t do. Waiting is not the answer.
He began to observe the situation in the bus. The NPC’s didn’t change at all and the people sleeping were still sleeping. His gaze passes through layers of people and landed on the last row.
He saw a young man identical as himself and they had no differences in their expressions. Xin Meng even had a momentary crises, thinking that the real one was sitting there while the one leaning on the seat… Who was him?
As soon as that thought appeared inside his mind, Xin Meng saw that “he” immediately showed a meaningful smile. His surrounding seemed to suddenly grow and then soon go back to the original state, as he he was thrown inside a kaleidoscope or as if there was a crack in space and time. Not only he was unable to control his hands and feet, he couldn’t even feel his body. His consciousness was blurred and everything seemed to change.
A murmur echoed inside his mind and he was unable to focus his gaze when he opened his eyes. The light flickered and became brighter and brighter until it occupied his entire sight.
When Xin Meng woke up and found out he was sitting down, he looked up and his pupils shrank the moment he saw the scenario around him!
He even sat on the same position where the “Xin Meng” was sitting.
The other “Xin Meng” stood beside the seat he was leaning on before and his smile remained the same.
Their positions were reversed!
The bad premonition was getting stronger inside his heart. He was about to stand up and rush to to the front when he could out that the originally NPC’s apparently had their play button pressed. They looked at him immediately and then their flesh started to fall to the ground. When all their skulls started to show, they rushed with their claws in Xin Meng’s direction!
Xin Meng tried to hid in horror but found out that the back row was also full of skeletons. He was completely surrounded. The two black holes on each skull shined with a strange red ray, going bright and then dark as if they were blinking. They made a horrible roar and showed their bare teeth, wanting to tear Xin Meng’s flesh!
There’s nothing he could do. In that narrow compartment, surrounded by dozens of skeletons, there’s no hope of escaping. Xin Meng remembered You Yi’s words and closed his eyes. He worked hard to clear his mind and soon his body felt light as he fell from a high altitude. The fall made him scream, but he felt no pain.
He was embraced.
He opened his eyes in shock and was greeted by You Yi’s handsome face.
He returned to the platform.
“Ah… Ah…” Xin Meng couldn’t help shivering and pant heavily with sweat from his forehead flowing into his eyes. His eyes hurt, but he didn’t dare blink.
“It’s alright” You Yi pulled him into his arms, patted his back gently and wiped the sweat on his forehead with his free hand.
“It was wrong…” Qi XiaoKui clenched her fingers anxiously when he saw the “3” above Xin Meng’s head.
Xin Meng watched You Yi without blinking and slowly calmed himself down. “W-Wrong… That’s not the right bus… Our reasoning is wrong…”
“Fortunately…” Li Yougen murmured while a twisted smile appeared on the corner of his mouth.
Qi XiaoKui gave him a stern glance. “Don’t be too happy. If you can’t solve the mystery, you won’t be able to find the right bus and will die. That’s just a morning and evening difference.”
Li Yougen lowered his head and covered his expression.
‘What are you afraid of? Those two have so many lives and are still anxious to die. If you are going to sacrifice yourselves, I just need to… As long as I can see the final results, I can live!’
No one cared what he was thinking about. As long as he kept it to himself, he would live.
“If it’s wrong to go inside your own bus, is it right to go inside someone else’s bus?” Xiong JiaBao scratched his head and wanted to break his brain thanks to the confusion.
“That’s probably it, but we have other five people on our team apart from ourselves. It’s impossible for us to determine which teammate is the correct choice, that is one fifth.” Dong Xiu said. “On other words, we have one in five chances on the death rate.”
“But we don’t have that many lives to try four times! Xiong JiaBao said anxiously.
Dong Xiu and Li Yougen’s gaze unconsciously moved towards Xin Meng. Xiong JiaBao didn’t dare look at him because he still felt a little guilty, but he was totally confused and didn’t know what to do.
“Keep observing,” Xin Meng ignored them and said only to You Yi and Qi XiaoKui. “There must be something we didn’t notice.”
“En” Qi XiaoKui nodded.
With the engine’s noise, another bus came. This time it was Xiong JiaBao’s.
Xiong JiaBao looked at his expressionless self inside the bus and took a step back, not daring approach the bus.
“T-This… Whose bus is this?” He stumbled out without even thinking about it.
If it wasn’t urgent, Xin Meng would laugh.
He carefully looked at the ‘Xiong JiaBao’ inside the bus and noticed his eyes didn’t look at the real Xiong JiaBao, but instead he kept staring… Dong Xiu?
Dong Xiu also noticed it and frowned, saying with some discomfort, “Is he looking at me?”
The ‘Xiong JiaBao’ naturally wouldn’t answer but just kept staring at him and the group couldn’t help but following his gaze. They all looked back at Dong Xiu who was said furiously, “Stop looking at me! Do I have a map on my face?”
“No…” Xiong JiaBao murmured to himself, finally acting a bit clever. “I think… He wants you to get inside the bus…”
“Me?” Dong Xiu froze.
“Yeah, since he keeps looking at you this might be a hint” Qi XiaoKui said. “Although it’s Xiong JiaBao’s face, that’s probably just a trap. The real person is the one being stared at.”
Dong Xiu looked at her in doubt. She also said before that the whoever was in the bus should take it, but it ended up with Xin Meng’s death. This time, he was unable to believe her theory since her observation skills were obviously behind him…
Obviously Qi XiaoKui herself also knew that her analysis weren’t always the best and didn’t dare jump to conclusions so easily, but the NPC’s stare was a great hint, they couldn’t let go of that clue.
However, Dong Xiu naturally refused to use his last life to try it out. The group just watched as the bus drove away again.
“What the hell!” Xion JiaBao turned around in a hurry. “Someone needs to do it! If everyone doesn’t risk trying our their buses, we will all he trapped here!”
“Hypocrite,” Dong Xiu said coldly. “You don’t risk your own life, what qualifications do you have to demand something from others. You have more lives than me.”
Xiong JiaBao was speechless.
Another bus arrived and, this time, Qi XiaoKui was sitting on it as she stared directly at Xiong JiaBao.
Xiong JiaBao “…”
Dong Xiu just accused him and so his heart was on fire. Now, seeing such a scene, Dong Xiu felt some sort of distorted pleasure. He leaned against the standing sign and said optimistically: “Weren’t you so brave? Now it’s your turn to show your performance, otherwise we will all be trapped here~”
He intentionally repeated Xiong JiaBao’s words: “Are you afraid? Someone needs to do it. If everyone refuses to take a risk, how can we find the right buses?”
Xiong JiaBao clenched his fists tightly with the teasing. All the veins on his hand popped out. He raised his head and glanced the “2” above his head, then he clenched his teeth and said: “I’ll go!”
“Alas!” Dong Xiu didn’t buy it. “What kind of here is this. Even if you die this time, you still have one life left.”
Xiong JiaBao was splashed with cold water on his face and his shoulders fell. But his words were already spoken and he had to swallow it down. He gulped and entered the bus.
The door closer with a bang.
Translator and Editor Notes:
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