The Trial Game of Life

The Trial Game of Life – Chapter 105

Table of Contents | Character Guide

Chapter 105: Realm of Mortals (8)

Warden Xiao Tong’s stick was called [Ruleless].

Xiao Tong had been a warden in Yong Ye City for so many years, and this black extendable stick was his symbol. It was always either hung on his waist or held in his hands, never separated from him.

The applicable length of the stick was based on his height and arm’s length. Xiao Tong was 1.9 meters tall, so his stick was naturally longer. Its whole body was made of a special material similar to Yong Ye City’s black steel, its full length divided into three sections. When not in use, it was only as long as a fan, but when swung out, it could reach up to 26 inches. Its attack range was wide, carrying intense damage and even electric shocks.

Of course, [Ruleless] had far more uses than just sending electric shocks. One of its most important effects was its mental suppression.

Coercion.

This was a vocabulary that was discussed often during all walks of life. Such a thing was invisible and intangible, but here, it became a technique that [Ruleless] could automatically exert, and its effect was indiscriminate. Everyone received a different extent of suppression. The weaker the player was, the harder he would be suppressed, even to the point of kneeling down to surrender.

In the hands of Xiao Tong, [Ruleless] was the supreme staff of Zone G. At this moment, in the hands of a monster, its effect had been massively reduced, but it still shouldn’t be underestimated.

After all, this was the third-ranked equipment on the White List, one of the three lists of Yong Ye City.

“Don’t be nervous, The Warden himself won’t attack.” Jin Cheng was well versed in the routines of Yong Ye City’s dungeons. There was no way Xiao Tong could act as the dungeon boss himself. Mr. Crow walked through the back door to bring his weapon in here.

As Jin Cheng spoke, he reassembled the two scimitars into a mechanical bow with a crisp “click”, raised his hand to draw a metal arrow from the air, stretched the bowstring, then said: “Against [Ruleless], avoid close combat at all costs.” 

The moment his voice fell, “Swoosh —”, the long arrow left the string, officially starting the battle.

The extent of [Ruleless]’s coercion was also dependent on the distance. The closer one was to it, the stronger the suppression would be released on him, so obviously, long-range attacks were the best course of action. Everyone didn’t dare to doubt Jin Cheng’s instructions. Hearing his words, they backed out from the monster holding [Ruleless]. Those who were more cautious simply jumped far away and singled out other monsters.

Jin Cheng couldn’t be bothered by that and continued firing arrows at the monster. As though flying a kite, he sent it away from the group.

For a rare time, Leng Miao actually cooperated with him. His ‘Air Cage’ blocked the monster’s path from other people, minimising the influence of [Ruleless]’s coercion.

Of course, it wasn’t that he suddenly found Jin Cheng less annoying in his eyes, rather, it was because he himself also abhorred the feeling of being suppressed.

This time, Mr. Crow might be unhappy, but he couldn’t directly attack the players. If he cheated again, he would be sanctioned by the system. So he could only jump atop the road sign angrily while shouting that he would go to Tang Cuo to tell him that Jin Cheng was fooling around outside.

Jin Cheng put away his bow, sharply turned around and took his time to respond to Mr. Crow: “Go. If he does eat vinegar, please let me know.”

Today, Mr. Crow was also pissed off by Jin Cheng.

On the other side, Tang Cuo finally recovered from the impact on his soul. He found that if the shock was too strong, his HP would also drop, and the rate at which it dropped would even increase by a certain percentage.

He had only four healing potions left. There was a need to use them sparingly.

At this point, there were still 87 intact tombstones in the cemetery. Tang Cuo emphatically checked those whose battery was too low. He had gotten very familiar with all the contents.

The important thing was linking the clues.

The sounds of notifications continuously came from each cell phone. It could be seen that some clues hadn’t yet surfaced, so Tang Cuo needed to wait.

What happened after the man in rain boots escaped from Xishan Road?

At this time, a status hidden among all this chaotic information grabbed Tang Cuo’s attention — A guy in XX province rushed to see his online girlfriend thousands of miles away, only to discover that ‘she’ was a man!

Clicking on the link, Tang Cuo found an emotional story written in WeChat’s ‘essay’ style. It took 800 words to describe the tangled emotions and pains of the guy in XX province, but actually, the whole thing seemed really fake.

In the article, there was also the guy’s photo. His eyes were mosaicked, but his face was still clear. However, Tang Cuo had never seen this face before and felt rather unfamiliar.

Immediately afterwards, the two incidents on Xishan Road rippled all over the Internet. One was the murder case where a girl was stabbed, and the other was the case of the dismembered corpse. The two cases instantly pulled widespread attention. The sounds of ‘ding dong ding dong’ came incessantly, warping the air into a very tense atmosphere.

Tang Cuo shuttled between the tombstones and saw no fewer than three versions of the story. Some were close to the facts, some confused the two incidents, while there emerged a large number of ‘observers that were at the scene’ who added even more spice to the story, almost building it into an urban myth.

Especially on WeChat, under word of mouth, the story became awfully convoluted.

Someone reposted screenshots of someone else’s Wechat Moments to Weibo, and as the news spread on the second social network, it grew even more confusing. It didn’t take long for the owner of those WeChat Moments to be found out.

None of the photos and personal information she posted on her Moments was spared. Everything was completely exposed to the public.

But Tang Cuo sensed a slight sense of disharmony from this. The girl seemed to be in her twenties, wore makeup and had a celebrity-lookalike face. She loved taking selfies and showing off her high-end belongings. On her Moments, she often displayed a sense of superiority, which made her one of the most vulnerable targets for online attacks.

She was very thin and petite-sized, her hair laced with big curls. In a recent selfie, her hair was dyed brown.

The sense of disharmony came from the girl herself.

In the murder case on Xishan Road, Tang Cuo didn’t see the face of the victim, so he couldn’t find her cell phone tombstone. But he did vaguely see her lying in a pool of blood through the gaps among the crowd from other videos.

She was much taller than the owner of those WeChat Moments, and she had long black hair. Because of the heavy rain and the low video quality, Tang Cuo couldn’t pick up more details, but his intuition told him that they were two different people.

In order to make further confirmation, he searched through the previous videos again, and the result wasn’t surprising.

It was normal for information to be erroneous while they were being spread out. Regardless of who the innocent girl that was criticised by the netizens was, Tang Cuo now wanted to know the victim’s identity even more.

He found the cell phone tombstone of the murderer’s, but never found the victim’s. This was illogical.

Could it be one of those tombstones that had exploded?

Tang Cuo tirelessly searched for it again. After another 15 minutes, he still didn’t find it, but discovered something else. This came from someone’s WeChat group chat —

Listener of The Wind: “I exposed her WeChat account. Let her experience the feeling of being ‘greeted’ by others, hehe.”

Greedy Little Fox: “That’s not very nice…”

Poems From Afar: “It was an unintentional mistake last time, she didn’t mean to mock you. This matter has nothing to do with her. You exposed someone’s WeChat like this, isn’t it cursing her to be disturbed till death?”

Listener of The Wind: “Then you go and replace her?”

Listener of The Wind: “That stinky bitch is not clean at a first glance, who knows if she’s doing anything revolting behind everyone’s back? If there’s no incident today, there’ll be tomorrow. I just make her a little more aware of a crisis in advance, it isn’t like I directly harm her. Besides, it’s those online YXH1 who love click-baiting people that spread the news, what’s that got to do with me?”

Listener of The Wind: “Are you good friends with her? If you have the guts, file a complaint.”

Listener of The Wind: “Hee hee.”

Listener of The Wind: “You’ve also slandered her behind her back, don’t think I don’t know. Don’t pretend that you’re nobler.”

Pao Qi: “Okay, don’t talk about it anymore. I believe that none of us has any malicious intent. We’re all friends, aren’t we?”

Tang Cuo frowned a little.

Pao Qi was friends with these people, and the girl who was exposed also knew them, so there was a high chance that these people all had been to Xishan Road. Plastic sisters2 like them could always magically maintain their friendship on the facade, go out and play together, and thereafter, each of them would post their own Moments, shield each other yet also stab each other in the back at the same time.

There was no need to ask why Tang Cuo knew so much. When he was a detective, he took up a small case which required him to pretend to be an involved subject and chatted on WeChat for a month in order to carry on his investigation.

He was proficient with words such as “hee hee”, “uhm”, “don’t want lah“, “love you”, etc., and he even had to shuttle through seven different WeChat groups. These were all truthfully recorded in his Survival Assessment Report.

Honestly, he’d rather be bitten by a dog every day.

As his thoughts returned to the incident at hand, the culprits that released this behind-the-scenes information and their motives had been obtained, and it seemed that it had nothing to do with the incident on Xishan Road itself. But the stories presented in the whole Cemetery of Souls weren’t so much like dominos that could cause a chain reaction, rather, they were like a spider web.

Every seemingly inconspicuous and unrelated story was a node on this web, and no one knew whether this node would be connected to other threads.

Perhaps this spider web should be called the Internet.

Thinking of this, Tang Cuo decisively overturned his previous judgement on the criteria to determine a soul’s life and death. Everyone was a node on this web. To choose certain fragments presented in this whole story to deem whether a soul was alive or not didn’t seem good enough.

Take for example Pao Qi who had appeared several times. Her personality was hypocritical, her selfies were hypocritical, and between her flowery words, there lingered a sense of selfishness and indifference to other people’s lives. But relying on these alone to judge whether she had become an empty shell without a soul wasn’t enough.

Moreover, Tang Cuo had always remained fundamentally skeptical about the information displayed on the cell phone tombstones. To have outrageous doubts yet reasonable assumptions simultaneously was a necessary quality of a detective.

If the criteria for judging life and death wasn’t as mysterious as Tang Cuo thought previously, the problem would become simpler. There were 99 tombstones in the Cemetery of Souls, representing 99 people related to the Xishan Road incident. But unless a meteorite fell down or an oil truck exploded, how could such a large number of people die at the same time in a modern society?

The dungeon asked to find three souls that were still alive, which meant that 96 of them were dead.

What if he looked at it the other way around?

Tang Cuo remembered what he heard when he first entered Yong Ye City — “Welcome back to Yong Ye City.”

He was very concerned at that time. Why on earth did they say ‘back to Yong Ye City’, and what did the word ‘back’ mean?

Such an intricate guess had to be validated. The most direct way was to find the tombstones of the two murdered girls and open the coffin to verify them. But by now, the girl who was stabbed on Xishan Road remained unidentified, while the tombstone of the game live streamer hadn’t been found.

Tang Cuo saw her live streaming interface on someone else’s cell phone screen, not her own.

So far, Tang Cuo had checked all tombstones more than once, but still hadn’t located both the girls’. The harder they were to find, the more likely that he was going in the right direction.

The Trial Game of Life was just a prologue, and coming back to Yong Ye City meant they were truly alive, so — Death was the beginning of Life.

But the mission required three living souls, which meant there was a third victim. It was impossible for a dog to own a cell phone, so Tang Cuo would take it out of the equation for now.

The most urgent thing was to find the third victim, then use the method of elimination to determine their respective tombstones. As Tang Cuo finalised his thoughts, his eyes became even more resolute.

Xiao Tong watched his changes closely and guessed that he might’ve understood the way to clear this gate. He smiled and shifted his gaze away slightly. If Tang Cuo was able to bring him such a great surprise, Zheng Yingying would need to be examined further.

At this juncture, Zheng Yingying was facing a tough choice.

Prior to this, Zheng Yingying had relied on [Infinite Forms] to successfully get into the monster doctors’ team, snatched a few bottles of medicine and secretly gave them to Meng Yufei. The monster doctors here could speak human words and follow certain behavioural routines, but their intelligence remained rather low. When they discovered that the medicine was missing, they would only go crazy and start looking for it, but wouldn’t attack their allies.

Zheng Yingying always pretended to be the weakest and least conscious monster among them. Whatever they did, she followed, which dangerously helped her blend in without being noticed.

Meng Yufei cooperated very well with her. Although it wasn’t the sort of mutual understanding between comrades, at least he didn’t try to do anything detrimental. But just when Zheng Yingying planned to continue doing this, something happened.

In front of her, Ward 304’s door was suddenly knocked open, then a figure staggered out of it and obviously smashed very hard against the ground, but the young man in his early twenties still laughed.

He curled up on the ground in pain, trying to get up but couldn’t, because all his strength seemed to have been used to let out that laughter.

“Hahahahaha —” As though his laughing nerve had been triggered, the man was giggling non-stop, the expression on his face seemingly fixed by a clamp. The corners of his mouth both curled up and all his facial muscles were raised to maintain that laughing face.

But he was in such despair, for that laughter was drenched in crack-down and helplessness, as if he was crying with a smile. As such, his expression looked particularly distorted.

“Hahahaha, kill, kill me hahahaha…” Seeing the monster doctors approaching, his eyes exuded not even a hint of fear. Instead, he leaned over, stretched out his hand to them and pleaded humbly: “Kill me, hahahaha, kill, hahahaha…” 

The monster doctors made “hoho” sounds as they surrounded him with curiosity. Zheng Yingying also followed, but she was camouflaged behind [Infinite Forms], so the player couldn’t recognise her.

But no matter how much the man begged, the monster doctors didn’t move a finger. Perhaps The instructions they received were to simply inject the patients with sedatives and subdue anyone who resisted. This situation was obviously not on their list.

Since they didn’t do anything, the man broke down more and more. He was laughing so hard that tears burst from his eyes, making him look all funny yet desperate.

Zheng Yingying could kill him, but she was very curious. If he wanted to die, why didn’t he commit suicide?

Yong Ye City had lifted its suicide ban since long ago.

Suddenly, the man’s hand that was waving randomly grabbed Zheng Yingying’s ankle. He cast a pleading gaze on the most human-looking monster and repeated those words again.

This familiar scene reminded Zheng Yingying of Jiang He and herself. Back then, she grabbed Jiang He by the ankle to make him save her and keep her alive, but now, this man was begging to die.

“Ding —” The wall clock in the asylum signalled that an hour had passed.

The monster doctors made their rounds to the wards every hour, which meant that a new round was coming and it was time for the patients to take medicine. The monster doctors surrounding the man immediately became exhilarated, then they dragged the man back to the ward, pressed him on the bed, then all turned back to look at Zheng Yingying.

The medicine was in Zheng Yingying’s hand.

The leading monster pulled out the patient’s diagnosis and read the verdict like Zheng Yingying’s: “Autistic, withdrawn and socially evasive. Recommend to be injected with laughing genes and strictly forbid to stay alone.” 

As the voice fell, Zheng Yingying, who entered the ward last, discovered that this was a ward with more than one patient. Most of the wards in this asylum housed only a single person, while such multi-bed wards were rare.

There were a total of three beds here. Lying next to the door was the laughing man, lying next to the window was another man who looked younger, his body covered in electrical wires, while lying in the middle was a woman with a raised abdomen, as though she was pregnant.

Were there pregnant women in this dungeon?

Upon such a sight, even Zheng Yingying couldn’t help but become a little hesitant, but in order not to expose herself, she immediately snapped out of it and came close to the man with the syringe and medicine.

How should I do it?

“Do you want to die?” She asked suddenly.

The other monster doctors all looked up at her and blinked their murky eyes, as if they didn’t understand why this ally was asking for something outside the instructions.

“Yes!” The man finally uttered a single syllable, abruptly holding back his laughter.

Zheng Yingying nodded, but still pushed the needle towards him. The man was shocked when he saw this, his laughter burst again, but his tone changed. He was both frightened and angered, with tons of question marks lacing his laughter, then he began to resist.

“There’s only one way to live, but there are thousands of ways to die.” Zheng Yingying tilted her head, raised the syringe and smiled: “You want to die, don’t you?”

I’ll fulfil your wish.

“No! No!!!” The man struggled hard. He wanted to die because he couldn’t stand these laughing genes, so how could he bear a second shot?

But the cold needle had already reached his hand. He was completely wretched, then a trace of madness was born out of despair. It was the insanity that was reached after a person remained trapped in desperation, perpetually unable to break free.

He gritted his teeth, to the point that blood started oozing out from his gum. He bounced off the bed and slammed into the monster closest to him. The monster accidentally bumped into Zheng Yingying’s arm, so Zheng Yingying’s needle made an exaggerated 180-degree turn and plunged into the arm of the monster next to her.

“Oops, slip of the hand.” She lamented and forcefully pushed the medicine into the monster.

Everything happened in a flash.

The syringe was too big, and before all the medicine could be pushed in, Zheng Yingying abandoned the needle and slumped down, rolled forward, then got under the next hospital bed with a rather clumsy and struggling posture.

Utterly stupefied by her move, the monster doctors failed to react for two seconds. Only then did they rush in desperately to catch her, but they couldn’t grasp the corner of her clothes. The bottom of the bed was so narrow that they were unable to get in with their huge bodies.

They began to howl, and the monster pierced by the needle had already started laughing uncontrollably. An eerie-looking monster was forced to keep laughing and making such a horrifying laughter. This gripping scene was something that no players in this ward would ever forget.

The ward went entirely amok.

The monster doctors gave up on the laughing patient because they wanted to catch Zheng Yingying. The man sat up with a little astonishment. Although he couldn’t stop laughing, after such a long time, the effect of the medicine had diminished.

He clenched his teeth and finally summoned a weapon, then he jumped at the monster’s back.

“Ah!” he yelled and slashed towards the monster’s back. Although his aim was accurate, the enemy struck back and sent him flying in the opposite direction. With a loud “bang”, he hit the hospital bed in the middle, knocking down the woman who was lying on the bed.

The woman was in a coma, so she hadn’t been moving, but at this moment, she woke up hugging her stomach. Blood was heavily trickling out from under her body, and the severe pain almost made her faint again.

When she turned her head, the monster was waving its claws at her, its breath soaked in a bloody stench.

“I’ll fight you till death!” She seriously was going mad. She flicked her hand indiscriminately, sending out a flame attack. At such a close distance, it hit the monster right in the middle of its face.

This also caused Zheng Yingying, who had just crawled out of the hospital bed behind her, to almost have her eyebrows burnt.

Fortunately, her head was bald, otherwise her hair would definitely not escape the fire.

The monster actually wanted to catch Zheng Yingying, but it would never have expected that the woman suddenly rolled off the bed and got in the middle. Upon seeing this, Zheng Yingying took advantage of the moment the woman went berserk to grab her dagger and stab it over the woman’s shoulders. She didn’t care about accuracy, insistently smashing it against the monster.

The flame attack coupled with the curse of the [Nameless Dagger] made the monster struggle for a second, then it stepped back while letting out a loud scream.

At that moment, the young man on the last hospital bed jumped up and landed onto the monster like a wild tiger taking down its prey, and with an electrocuting device in one hand, he firmly pressed it against the enemy’s forehead — 

“You dare to electrocute me. You dare to look down on this gaming geek. I’ll electrocute you to death!”

If Tang Cuo or Jin Cheng were here, they would definitely recognise that this person was the same Qian Wei that they met in the dungeons [On A Snowy Night, He Returns] and [Conquering Demon City].

The Trial Game of Life - Chapter 104
The Trial Game of Life - Chapter 106
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yel
yel
1 month ago

so qian wei is in the prison now? maybe he was killed in zone e (if he was still there) then was sent to the prison? i wonder if peng mingfan is also with him. i actually liked them better than zheng yingying

Blank
Blank
11 months ago

Thank you so much for translating! This story is so good <3

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