GOR Chapter 134: Loophole
“Stay vigilant!” Chen Xiaolian was the first to jump down the bus, the muzzle of his gun pointing to the front as his waist arced into a forward stooped position and he surveyed the surroundings for a moment. Next, Lun Tai and Bei Tai jumped down. Only after that did the girls came down.
“No one? Strange…” Lun Tai frowned as he looked around. The convenience store and shopping areas were empty, devoid of any signs of life. The empty atmosphere of the rest stop was reminiscent of a scene from a horror movie.
“I keep feeling that something is not right,” Chen Xiaolian knitted his eyebrows.
“Maybe, this is due to the chaotic situation in Tokyo. That is why everyone within this rest stop had run off?” Lun Tai too, was frowning.
“First, refill the gas!” Chen Xiaolian made his decision. “Roddy, you are responsible for refilling the gas. Lun Tai, Bei Tai, you two are responsible for checking out the area.”
“We need some gas for the spare vehicles as well,” Nicole said. “I’ll go find some gas barrels to bring together.”
Chen Xiaolian watched Xia Xiaolei step down from the bus, his face pale to the extreme. The moment he got down the bus, he leaned on the door and started puking.
“What is wrong?”
“Guild Leader, did you forget… I have blood phobia,” Tears and snot flowed out in the vomiting process and Xia Xiaolei’s legs wobbled. “When you all were killing those monsters, I could not do anything at all to help. Watching alone caused my whole body to tremble in fear.”
His face showed guilt. “Am I not very useless?”
Chen Xiaolian did not say anything. He simply patted Xia Xiaolei and laughed. “No, come with me. Help me out with something.”
Xia Xiaolei appeared to be feeling better as he followed Chen Xiaolian. His heart was concerned with how insignificant his presence was within the team. During the battle, he was of no help to anyone. He was worth even less than a girl.
Chen Xiaolian understood Xia Xialei’s feelings and he quickly found something for him to do to make him feel better.
“We are going to the shopping area to see if there is anything we could use,” Chen Xiaolian glanced at Qiao Qiao, Soo Soo and Takeuchi Mikiko. “Don’t move on your own… you have watched horror movies before, right? In movies, those who move about on their own will face a higher level of danger.”
“We know,” Qiao Qiao smiled. “I am bringing Soo Soo and Takeuchi Mikiko with me. We won’t go alone.”
After saying that, the three females moved to the back area of the gas station. Chen Xiaolian did not stop them. It was clear that they were heading toward the washroom.
“Xiaolei, let’s head to the shopping area.”
Chen Xiaolian patted Xia Xiaolei on his shoulder.
The high way rest stop in Japan was not too different compared to those in China, it sported some item and food shops.
Chen Xiaolian also caught sight of a Starbucks outlet. Unfortunately, there were no staff members present and the vast lounge area was empty.
Chen Xiaolian walked to the front of a food vending machine. With what Japanese yen he had left on him, he put them in and bought several sushis. Then, he moved to some other food stores and gathered up some other foods. Xia Xiaolei followed behind him, carrying a basket to hold the items.
On the other side, Lun Tai entered a convenience store, his rifle aiming forward as he entered. After thoroughly searching around, he found nothing of note and was able to relax somewhat. He then retrieved a pack of cigarettes from behind the counter and lit one up for himself. After taking a drag, he sighed. “Japanese cigarettes are too light, it doesn’t give any taste at all.”
Bei Tai had brought some beers with him.
The two of them then headed out of the convenience store and observed the distant resting area. There, Chen Xiaolian was picking up food from the resting area one by one. They made eye contact and gestured to each other, making a ‘safe’ signal.
Lun Tai sat on the steps of the convenience store and silently smoked as the sunlight fell on his face.
Beside him, Bei Tai opened up a can of beer and handed it over to him. After drinking in a mouthful, Lun Tai gave a long sigh.
“The weather is pretty good,” Lun Tai puffed the cigarette continuously and suddenly let out a bitter laugh. “Even I am feeling somewhat lost now. Two hours ago, we were killing monsters in Tokyo City. Now, we are sitting here, smoking and drinking while sunbathing.”
Roddy, who was refuelling the bus far away, caught sight of them smoking. He smiled and moved over. “You guys sure have balls, smoking here? This place is still quite close to the gas station!”
“Do you smoke?” Lun Tai looked at Roddy.
“Give me one,” Roddy smiled as he accepted a cigarette from Lun Tai and lit it up himself. “The bus’s gas tank is big, refuelling will take some time.”
On another side of the gas station, Nicole had found a barrel from an unknown location and was using an automated fuel dispenser to fill the barrel with gas.
The three males sat there as they looked at Nicole. Lun Tai abruptly asked. “Roddy, do you still like that girl?”
Roddy’s face appeared slightly awkward. “Err…”
“If you love her, then you love her. There is nothing to be hesitant about,” Lun Tai’s face was indifferent as he spoke. “For people like us who have been sucked into this world, there is no telling if today is the day we will die in this game. Then… even if we get resurrected after being refreshed, we will still forget everything connected to this game. In fact, it would be no different from dying. Enjoy each day and do not leave any regrets.”
“Hmm, but that girl’s character is very tough. I fear that you will have to suffer in the future,” Bei Tai sniggered.
As he was talking, Nicole turned her head to look at them. Then, she kept the fully filled gas barrel into her storage equipment within the system before slowly walking over. She walked until she was before the three of them. Looking at Lun Tai, she said. “Give me one.”
Lun Tai raised an eyebrow and tossed a cigarette to her.
Nicole smiled. She caught it and lit it up with a smooth series of actions.
“You smoke?” Roddy was surprised.
“After getting accustomed to the forest of guns and rain of bullets and the acts of killings, its only natural for me to pick up some habits,” Nicole said indifferently. “My father smoked and I like the smell of tobacco.”
“Oh, right. Your Floater…” Roddy asked.
“There are three more hours to go before the recharging process ends,” Nicole checked the time.
“Could anyone with technological skills use Floater?” Roddy was feeling curious. His skill was ‘Mechanical Heart’; thus, he was very interested in this matter. “Acquiring a Floater… is it very difficult?”
“Very difficult,” Nicole pondered about it. “Only within some special instance dungeon will you have the chance to acquire it. There is also the Exchange System, where there are some special exchange requirements for it. Using points alone would not do. There are also some special material procurement and quests that needs to be completed. If you are interested, you can check it through the Exchange System.”
Roddy gave a faint smile. Since he did not have the Exchange System, he could only choose to change the topic. “You are a Mech pilot. So, what kind of Mechs do you normally use in Zero City? You could not possibly be using just the I-Model Sentinel, right?”
“That is a staple model used for the field. Moreover, it is part of the light-type, small-scaled Mech. It will only be used within Zero City. When doing battle on the outside, no one would choose to use it,” Nicole slowly said. “I have my own Mech, a big one. Unfortunately, I did not bring it out with me. It is currently being maintained in the Armament Department belonging to the Security Team. If I had driven that thing out, those people from Thorned Flower Guild would not be able to ambush me.”
Bei Tai tossed a can of beer towards Nicole, who accepted it. She then opened it and took a sip.
Roddy however, shook his head and rejected the beer Bei Tai handed over. “I still need to drive.”
“What are you afraid of? There is no one here to check if you are drunk driving,” Bei Tai smirked.
Roddy shook his head. “It is better for me to be careful. Our quest is critical.”
Chen Xiaolian and Xia Xiaolei both held on to a bag full of food each as they walked out of the store. Xia Xiaolei already had a sushi stuffed into his mouth as he chewed with gusto. For the past two days, they have not been able to partake in a decent meal. Yesterday night, they had to make do with bread and biscuits. Now that he was able to stuff himself with the sushi rolls, Xia Xiaolei could not help himself but sigh after he finished chewing the rice. “I feel as though it’s been days since I have eaten anything.”
As he spoke, Xia Xiaolei took the lead while Chen Xiaolian moved behind him. Suddenly, Chen Xiaolian heard a faint sound.
It was an extremely fine sound. If one was not listening attentively, they would not have caught it. Chen Xiaolian however, has had his body enhanced. After his physical attributes was enhanced, both his eyes and ears have also become sharper.
The sound had originated from beneath Xia Xiaolei’s foot!
“Stop! Don’t move!” Chen Xiaolian’s face abruptly fell and he held out one hand to press down on Xia Xiaolei’s shoulder.
Xia Xiaolei was shocked. “Brother Xiaolian?”
“Don’t move! Don’t take a step!” Chen Xiaolian’s face had turned grim and he quickly bent down to check.
Then, Chen Xiaolian’s heart gave a pound!
The floor tile beneath Xia Xiaolei’s foot seemed no different from those surrounding it. However, after lightly rapping on it, Chen Xiaolian found that it was issuing a hollow sound.
Cold sweat seeped out from his forehead! Chen Xiaolian took a deep breath and said. “Xiaolei, do not move! Please do not move, leave your leg in that spot and do not move it! Slowly lower your body and squat down!”
After saying that, Chen Xiaolian pulled back his MP5’s bolt and he quickly crouched down. His eyes swept the area as fast as lightning and he shouted. “Lun Tai!”
The few of them who were seated by the door of the convenience store heard Chen Xiaolian’s shout. Noticing something wrong with his tone, they quickly discarded their cigarettes and beer cans, jumping to attention.
“Be vigilant!” Lun Tai quickly howled out and they spread out. Then, they spotted Chen Xiaolian and Xia Xiaolei squatting down before the doors of the distant resting area. Chen Xiaolian immediately pulled a rest chair that was fixed on the ground, placing it before his body to act as cover.
“You all stay put. Keep an eye on the surroundings! I will go check it out.”
Lun Tai stayed close to the walls and crouched his body as he ran forward. In one breath of time, he managed to reach Chen Xiaolian’s side. He quickly took cover behind one of the store’s cabinets. “What is going on?”
“I do not know if I am mistaken… but Xia Xiaolei may have stepped on something!” Chen Xiaolian said with a solemn tone.
Just then, on the other side of the resting area, Qiao Qiao, Soo Soo and Takeuchi Mikiko moved out of the washroom. Seeing them, Chen Xiaolian quickly shouted out. “Qiao Qiao, get back!”
Qiao Qiao’s face fell immediately. Without saying anything, she used her hands to pull Soo Soo and the Japanese girl back through the door of the washroom. She then held onto her gun and peeked out half her head. “What is going on?”
“Get back! Do not come out!” Chen Xiaolian snapped.
Lun Tai produced a dagger as he crouched down by Xia Xiaolei’s foot. Carefully and slowly, he cut open the edge of the tile, creating a small hole through it. After taking a look through the hole, Lun Tai’s expression turned ugly.
“Son of a bitch! Someone set up a trap! This is an anti-infantry mine! It is pressure sensitive! Someone dug out the bottom area of this tile and set up this mine below before covering it with the tile. Appearance wise, it seemed normal. But, once you step on it…” As he spoke, Lun Tai raised his head to see the pale-faced Xia Xiaolei. “Buddy, don’t panic. Don’t move about carelessly. I will try to disable it.”
“En!” Xia Xiaolei nodded his head vigorously. It was clear that he was feeling afraid, but he only bit down hard on his teeth.
Chen Xiaolian’s face was distorted as he carefully searched around. However, his eyes could see nothing out of the ordinary.
The distant Bei Tai, Nicole and Roddy had also gestured to them, indicating that they did not find anything wrong. Chen Xiaolian quickly made a gesture and soon, Bei Tai and Nicole dispersed, moving out in two different directions as they continued searching.
A few moments later, the two of them ran back from the two sides of the rest stop. They shook their heads, nothing was found.
Chen Xiaolian became puzzled.
At that moment, Lun Tai had already cut out the floor tile with his dagger, leaving only the small piece of pressure sensor.
Lun Tai examined the mine and hissed. He then forced out a smile. “Disabling it will be troublesome… why don’t we ask Roddy to come over. Doesn’t he have the ability to control machinery?”
“Roddy!” Chen Xiaolian shouted.
Arching his waist and stooping forward, Roddy ran over. As he approached, he threw himself on the ground. “What’s up?”
“Look!” Chen Xiaolian pointed at Xia Xiaolei’s feet.
Roddy glanced at it and his face distorted. “Someone planted a trap? But, we have checked everywhere. There is no one here.”
“First, disable this thing!” Chen Xiaolian gritted his teeth. “However, disabling it would be too risky. Try using your ability.”
Roddy extended two fingers to touch the mine. A few seconds later, he raised his head to look at Xia Xiaolei. “There is a method.”
“What do you mean?”
“There is a pressure sensor inside. If you loosen your feet and the pressure dissipates, it will explode. However, I can control it and delay it for several seconds. Lun Tai, help me out. Find something heavy and bring it over. Later, when I say let go, Xia Xiaolei, you must let go! Then, Lun Tai, you must quickly put that heavy item on it as replacement!”
Lun Tai checked his surroundings before pulling out a beer keg from a nearby container. “We can use this. Let’s do this!”
“I will count to three. Xiaolei, do not panic. Relax, I can delay this thing for quite some time, even ten seconds would not be a problem. However, it is better to be safe. You had better move quickly,” Roddy deliberately smiled to comfort Xia Xiaolei.
“Just count, brother! Let’s do this fast, my legs are going numb.”
“One, two… THREE!”
Xiaolei quickly pulled back his leg while Chen Xiaolian behind him quickly pulled him back by two steps. At the same time, Lun Tai immediately used a beer keg to press down on it.
Roddy breathed a sigh of relief as he determined that the pressure sensor’s detonation sequence was not triggered.
“It’s best if we do not move about recklessly!” Lun Tai’s face sank. “Hell knows if the other tiles may have mines below them! Son of a bitch! Who is trying to set us up? How is it even possible? How could there be other participants before us? We should be the first to find the quest target for protection!”
At that instant, a sharp scream suddenly rang out from the washroom far away!
“It’s the voice of the Japanese girl?” Roddy was quick to speak out.
Chen Xiaolian’s response was the fastest. He ignore all else and charged forward with a stooping forward posture. Lun Tai who was behind him shouted out, but he ignored it. Chen Xiaolian stayed close to the wall as he ran toward the washroom.
Behind the sign placed on the washroom were two doors. The left was for males while the right was for females.
Chen Xiaolian burst into the female washroom and saw that Qiao Qiao and Soo Soo were standing there in perfect condition. His heart gave a sigh of relief. Then, he saw Takeuchi Mikiko crouching before a toilet cubicle, her face revealing terror and she screamed sharply. As for Qiao Qiao, she was trying to comfort her.
“What happened?” Chen Xiaolian quickly moved over.
“Look!” Qiao Qiao pointed at the innermost cubicle. Its door was left open.
Within the toilet cubicle was a corpse.
More accurately, it was half a corpse!
It was a woman, not too old judging from her remaining upper body, which was wearing a protective vest. Clearly, she was a participant of this game. However, it was unknown if she was a Player or an Awakened.
Her upper body remained intact. However, from her abdomen downward… the rest of her body had disappeared!
The area below the waist appeared to have been dissolved by something and the disconnected part was not a bloody sight that he had imagined. The disconnected part resembled the after effects of being burned by intense temperature, and have melded together. Looking at it now, the part looked like a piece of hard plastic.
Next to her body was a weapon, a dogleg knife. Judging from the surface of the weapon, it appeared to be quite a good weapon. Chen Xiaolian stepped inside and picked up the weapon. Examining it, he found it to be a [B] Class weapon. He then threw it toward Qiao Qiao. “Take it.”
The corpse was too strange.
After examining it for a moment, Chen Xiaolian was still unable to find any clues. He then closed the door.
“What happened?” Chen Xiaolian asked Qiao Qiao.
Qiao Qiao exhaled and fought back the urge to vomit. Then, she replied. “Earlier when we entered this washroom, we did not realize this… this was the innermost cubicle. So, we did not discover it back when we first entered. Back then, you told us to go back. Takeuchi Mikiko retreated to the innermost side and unwittingly opened the door to discover that.”
“Nothing else happened? Did you see anything else?”
“No,” Qiao Qiao shook her head with certainty.
The washroom was a closed off area without any windows. There was only the window and a very small ventilation duct above their heads.
Chen Xiaolian’s face suddenly tensed as he stared at the ventilation duct. He signalled to Qiao Qiao and she too, tensed up. Without making any noise, she led Takeuchi Mikiko toward the door while holding onto Soo Soo as they retreated.
Chen Xiaolian pulled the bolt of his gun and pointed the muzzle at the ventilation duct up above. At the same time, his other hand summoned out Bone Crusher Axe. Taking a deep breath, he shouted out. “Come out!”
Chen Xiaolian sneered. He raised Bone Crusher Axe and hacked down heavily onto the ventilation up above!
With a “ka”, a hole appeared on the ceiling.
At the same time, a gasp came from within the ventilation duct!
“If you still do not come out, I will open fire!”
Chen Xiaolian shouted and he signalled to Qiao Qiao with his eyes. Qiao Qiao then raised her gun at the ventilation duct.
“I will count to three! One! Two!”
“Don’t! Don’t shoot! I am coming out!” A weak sound came from above.
The grille of the duct was opened and a slender arm emerged. Next, part of a thin body emerged.
It was a girl. More accurately, it was a rather young girl, whose age was probably the same as Takeuchi Mikiko.
Young and wearing a vest-type of protective suit. One look was enough to tell that it was a low-class item. Both her hands were not holding onto any weapons. When she jumped down from above and stood up, Chen Xiaolian was somewhat shocked.
This girl was very short and thin, shorter than Chen Xiaolian by a head. Only someone with such a small body would be able to crawl into the ventilations ducts.
Despite her tender age, her head was left bald and her nose was wearing a nose ring. On the exposed part of her neck was a fire shaped tattoo. Thick smoky makeup was applied on to both her eyes. However, it seemed that she had been crying and her makeup had become indistinct.
Just by looking at her, he got the impression that she was one of those female ruffians. After she fell to the ground, she obediently raised up her hands, her face displaying fear.
“Don’t move about!” Chen Xiaolian did not take her lightly due to her looks and age. Instead, his gun remained locked onto the girl’s head. “Walk over here on your own! I want to see your hands at all times!”
The bald girl did not do anything that was out of line and she cautiously walked forward. Then, she knelt down on her own initiative, placing both hands on her head.
Qiao Qiao did not move out to search her – for participants, be it Players or Awakened ones, they could keep their weapons inside the system.
However, Chen Xiaolian retrieved a pair of handcuffs from his pocket – it was among the items that Nicole had robbed from the squad of Special Assault Team.
After handcuffing the bald girl did Chen Xiaolian direct the muzzle of his gun down the ground. However, his gaze never left the girl’s hands. “Get out! You go first!”
“No… outside, outside is too dangerous!” The bald girl’s voice was very childlike.
“Get out!” Chen Xiaolian showed no mercy. At this point in time, he would never show any mercy. Xia Xiaolei had nearly been blown to death by the mine! If he had not heard the sound earlier, Xia Xiaolei would certainly have died. As for him, he had been standing so close to Xia Xiaolei that he would likely have suffered the same fate.
“I beg you! Don’t go out! There is a monster outside! A terrifying monster!” The bald girl cried imploringly.
“… … monster?”
Two minutes later, Chen Xiaolian marched the bald girl toward the outer part of the resting area. There was a manager’s office there. Chen Xiaolian slammed open the door and all of them headed inside.
“Now, tell us everything regarding your situation,” Chen Xiaolian said coldly. “If you are smart, then don’t try to lie.”
“… I won’t lie,” The bald girl’s eyes showed a deep level of fear.
“Your identity? Awakened? Player?”
“I…” The bald girl’s eyes showed hesitation. She looked at Chen Xiaolian before finally making up her mind. She sighed. “I am an Awakened! If you are Players… then just kill me.”
“Awakened?” Chen Xiaolian looked at the others. They too, expressed surprise.
“Yes. I am just an insignificant small fry. This is my second instance dungeon,” The bald girl sobbed. “I am scared, I am really scared.”
“What is the name of your guild?” Lun Tai asked dispassionately.
“I… I do not have a guild. Ah, no, I have a guild!”
“Do you have or do you not?!”
“… originally, I did not. In this instance dungeon though, I joined a guild.”
However, the girl’s next answer caused everyone to become surprised!
The girl’s name was Nagase Komi, from Kansai, Japan, 15 years old. Two months prior, in an activity organized by her school, she was sucked into a strange incident (instance dungeon). Back then, everyone died, leaving her who became an Awakened.
In that instance dungeon, she was fortunate enough to survive and leave the instance dungeon as an Awakened. Then, she found that her dead schoolmates had been resurrected. She then spent the following period of time feeling lost and fearful.
This time, the system had selected her to be a solo participant in this instance dungeon.
Strength wise, this Nagase Komi was so weak, it caused them to feel shocked. She possessed a personal skill of invisibility. However, this skill’s class was too low and could only make her invisible for less than one minute.
This ability was quite good. Unfortunately, this girl does not possess any battle skills and battle strength. The attributes of her original body was also not high. Even with her invisibility, her battle strength was of not much use within the instance dungeon.
Within these two months’ time, the only benefit that the invisibility skill brought for her was the opportunity for her to steal some money and belongings.
Indeed, this girl known as Nagase Komi was a standard Japanese bad girl.
Participating in this Tokyo instance dungeon with her strength, a rookie like her would never be able to make it through the first phase. If she was not killed, she would likely have failed the quest and be sent out.
After all, to snatch someone else’s energy source and gather up five of those energy sources was not something that someone with her abilities could do.
However… she miraculously made it to the second phase!
This detail caused everyone in Meteor Rock Guild to feel rather surprised.
After Nagase Komi told them the method she used, everyone was left speechless!
Within the first phase of the Tokyo instance dungeon, Nagase Komi encountered a mysterious stranger who was also a game participant.
The other party was a middle-aged man who introduced himself as Culkin.
This Culkin successfully executed a marvellous matter. He found and gathered solo participants who were not part of any guilds. Then, he gathered them all, and established a guild! Then… they completed the first phase of the quest!
“All of us would be assigned an energy source by the system in the first phase of the quest. Thus… as long as five solo participants come together, they could gather up five energy sources. Culkin told us that there was no need for us to kill each other or snatch from others. We only needed to do one thing, and that is to establish a guild.”
Listening to Nagase Komi’s words, everyone from Meteor Rock Guild was left speechless!
Chen Xiaolian was momentarily stunned. Then, he let out a grudging laugh and lightly slapped his own forehead.
“Son of a bitch! This method… why didn’t I think of it?”
Nicole, Lun Tai and Bei Tai were staring with widened eyes.
Roddy looked at the bald girl and murmured. “So… you people did not even go killing about. Instead, you gathered up a group of solo participants, created a guild and just waltzed your way through the first phase?”
“Yes,” Nagase Komi thought about it and said. “Culkin found a place, a remote and safe hotel for us to gather inside. We gathered up to twenty people and made a guild. That way, the energy sources we had also became significant.”
“Twenty energy sources?” Chen Xiaolian was stunned.
“No… actually, it became much less later on,” Nagase Komi whispered. “There were other participant teams who found us and they tried to snatch our energy sources. However, Culkin was very smart. He was able to negotiate with the other parties. If the opposing team has only a few members, the sight of twenty people on our side and their lack of knowledge about our abilities led to their reluctance to engage us recklessly. Most of them would choose to retreat in fear. If we meet a stronger team, Culkin would step out to negotiate with the other team. He was willing to give the other team an energy source, in exchange for peace. Generally, when the other team saw that we have twenty people, whose abilities and number of experts on our side was unknown to them, they would not choose a hard approach. For them to be able to negotiate peacefully without resorting to violence and get an energy source, they would usually choose to retreat peacefully.
“Thus, under Culkin’s leadership, we were able to complete the first phase.”
Chen Xiaolian gave a grudging smile and kneaded his face. “I have always thought of myself as a very smart person. Now that I hear about this, I am simply an idiot… fine! What next? After the first phase ended, what did you do?”
“For the second phase, our guild received a quest from the system, where it gave us a picture. We are to find a person within Tokyo and escort that person to a designated location. The destination is in Saitama Prefecture.
“Culkin said that there was no need for so many people to go together in order to find that person. Thus, he decided to split up. He brought several of the strongest ones with him to the Metropolitan Police Department. That place holds a large database, which could be used to search for information regarding the Tokyo population.
“As for the other group, Culkin assigned us a mission. We are to move toward the designated location and set up traps at a certain spot in the middle of the way. This is to entrap other teams, which might be heading for the designated location.
“According to Culkin, this is for the sake of giving our team more time and at the same time, chances. We might come across an opportunity to rob other teams. He said that others would certainly plan to find their quest target first before leaving Tokyo area, heading to Saitama Prefecture.
“He said that we will do the opposite. First, we will separate our forces, moving out of Tokyo and set up traps halfway through. There is a great chance that we could take the initiative by doing so. At the same time, we might also be able to kill off one or two of the other teams, and get some loot while we are at it.”
“Did no one object this decision?” The corners of Chen Xiaolian’s mouth smiled in a peculiar manner.
“No one objected… at least not on the surface. Culkin’s strength is much stronger than us. Additionally, he was the one who led us to complete the first phase of the quest. Thus, his authority had risen high and everyone was willing to obey his command. Besides, he also said that this guild of ours will be maintained in the future. In this game, unity is the only way to survive. Those who go at it alone will face a great deal of difficulty.”
Chen Xiaolian nodded.
He could not help himself and sighed out inwardly.
That Culkin… is a powerful character!
In the first phase, he drilled a loophole through the system, a beautifully drilled hole!
In the second phase, he was clearly being ruthless!
What divide our forces to leave Tokyo… to take the initiative… entrap other teams halfway through… catching others by surprise…
All those reasoning are but a pack lies.
From what Chen Xiaolian could see, that Culkin fellow was purging the guild!
He had the experts of the guild stay with him to find the quest target in the Metropolitan Police Department. Then, he tossed out those with less strength out… to become cannon fodders!
Lie here in ambush? Ambush the other teams with this bunch of feeble chickens?
Just think about it, for a team to be able to complete the first and second phase of the quest and escort the quest target until this location, that team would certainly have a considerable level of strength!
A rabble consisting of rookies and solo participants wants to ambush others here?
Thus, Culkin’s real objectives for sending these people here can be divided into two:
First, to purge the guild! Purge out those with questionable strength from the guild, leaving only those elites with enough strength to gain his approval.
Second, by tossing away these cannon fodders to set up traps halfway through, it might actually be possible to delay the other teams – even if it was only one hour’s worth of delay, even if they only managed to damage the other teams, it would still be beneficial to Culkin! After all, these people were nothing more than cannon fodders!
This fellow… not only is he smart, he is also ruthless!
In the room full of people, Chen Xiaolian’s thoughts had also occurred to the veterans, Lun Tai and Bei Tai. Nicole’s face turned grim while Qiao Qiao and Roddy pondered about it for a moment before understanding the main points. They could not restrain themselves as they directed gazes of pity at Nagase Komi – this girl was simply used as a cannon fodder.
“You are the ones who set up the mine?” Chen Xiaolian asked coldly.
“Yes,” Nagase Komi quickly answered. “But, right after we began setting up the mines, something unexpected happened!”
“Unexpected? You mean the monster? Back then, you said that there is a monster out here. What happened?”
“There really is a monster!” Nagase Komi’s body suddenly trembled and she quickly uttered out. “I am not lying! After arriving at this rest stop, we found that this place was empty. In the beginning, none of us thought too much about it. Since we did not find anything after searching around, we began to make preparations for an ambush. But, before we could actually begin, a problem arose.”
After saying that, Nagase Komi’s face gradually turned distorted. “We stopped our car in the parking lot behind. Someone then suggested setting up a sniper position. They believed that the big tree opposite the highway was not bad for that purpose. So, two people left the rest stop with the intention of heading across the highway and into the opposite side.
“It was then that the tragedy occurred. As the two of them were attempting to leave the rest stop, a monster suddenly appeared!”
Leave the rest stop? The monster appeared?
Everyone’s face fell and Chen Xiaolian quickly asked. “What kind of monster is it?”
“Very, very, very big! It is just like the monsters from those horror movies,” Nagase Komi suddenly cried out. “I beg you, please do not kill me! I beg you! I only want to hide, I do not want to be killed by the monsters! I do not intend to harm you all! I’ll surrender, all right?”
“Don’t cry! Explain everything first!” Chen Xiaolian shouted.
However, Nagase Komi appeared to have lost control of herself. She only cried and her words were uttered intermittently. She kept muttering the same words “do not kill me” and those of the similar meaning.
A very big monster?
Chen Xiaolian turned to the others.
“Regardless if what she said is the truth or not, it would be best for us to leave here instantly.”
Nicole’s proposal quickly gained Chen Xiaolian’s support. The others also did not object.
They then walked out of them room to the outer area. Looking around, they saw that there was nothing out of the ordinary. The bright sunlight descended down and, with the exception of the place being much quieter, there was nothing of note.
However, Nagase Komi suddenly became agitated – as they were marching her up the bus, the girl suddenly struggled madly with everything she had and cried!
“We cannot leave! We cannot try to leave this rest stop! As soon as we try to leave, the monster will attack! We cannot get up the vehicle! No! No! NOO!”
Bei Tai turned irritable. He walked over and slapped her head angrily. “What are you shouting about?”
“Wait!” Chen Xiaolian looked at Nagase Komi’s mad appearance; it seemed to be one of pure terror, and not an act. A thought came to him. “Everyone, be alert! Ready your weapons and be prepared to engage in battle at any moment.”
They started the bus with Roddy as the driver. Beside Roddy, Lun Tai was carrying his rifle as he peered ahead anxiously.
In the bus, the two Japanese girls were thrown into the central area while the team members were scattered around, their weapons completely loaded as they too, looked around nervously.
Their vehicle drove out of the gas station and slowly moved to the road heading out of the rest stop. They were about to drive out of the rest stop and onto the road leading out of the stop…
A loud sound rang out!
The front of the bus appeared to have slammed heavily into an invisible wall!
The windshield of the bus suddenly cracked!
Roddy’s figure who was seated in the driver’s seat lurched before tilting over, his head falling down to the side. Lun Tai quickly held him up.
They saw that the front area of the bus had become deformed and had been halted at the exit point of the rest stop. Before the bus, the air itself seemed to be moving. It was as though there was an invisible wall before them… however, no matter how they strained their eyes, they were unable to see anything.
“Something’s not right! Look!”
Chen Xiaolian’s face suddenly contorted!
Several broken fragments from the bus was floating in the middle of the air as it moved slowly before the bus… it was moving in the air!
The instant he noticed that, Chen Xiaolian reacted.
“There is something! It is moving! It is just in front of us! Bloody Hell! It is invisible!”
Another loud sound rang out!
It was as though an invisible force had slammed violently into the bus, throwing the bus into the air! It was thrown off by 5 to 6 metres. As it landed, it toppled over twice!
The bus was deformed and the windows were shattered. The people within it fell.
“Hurry up and get out of the bus!” Chen Xiaolian crawled up. He grabbed someone who was beside him and tossed that person out without even checking who it was.
Soo Soo was thrown out, followed by Takeuchi Mikiko. Then, it was Nagase Komi.
The other team members had already made their move. At that moment, Qiao Qiao had already crawled out from the other side of the bus. Roddy, whose entire head was dripping with blood, was being pulled out by his hair by Nicole as she charged out through the hole in the shattered windshield.
Lun Tai and Bei Tai had also rushed out. Finally, the last to run out were Chen Xiaolian and Xia Xiaolei.
Chen Xiaolian kicked Xia Xiaolei out before jumping out through a window…
Just as his body hit the ground, he heard a loud explosion!
The bus once again flew up into the air as it whirled around! Whirling twice, the bus then flew a distance of tens of metres away!
The bus then smashed into the gas station, directly into the gas pump…
“Oh Hell! It’s going to blow!” Chen Xiaolian watched as the gas pump was smashed into, and gas sprayed out from the tubes while sparks flew. All he could do was shout out and run toward the back room of the resting area while grabbing the one beside him, ignoring all else.
The moment the bus collided into the gas station… following the falling sparks, flames spread out instantaneously!
The gas flowing out from the gas tubes spread across the ground and was quickly lit on fire!
The flames spread out rapidly even as Chen Xiaolian ran frantically. He held onto two person, Takeuchi Mikiko on his left and Soo Soo on his right. As he was dashing madly, he heard a terrifyingly loud sound coming from behind him!
Orange flames soared to the skies and the resulting shockwave blasted the ceiling of the gas station off.
Orange coloured flames rose up by over tens of metres! The gas burst out even as it caught on fire!
The doors and windows of the rooms and buildings beside the gas station were immediately shattered by the shockwave before being engulfed by the flames!
Chen Xiaolian could feel the heat wave charging forth from behind him as the intense shockwave seemingly pushed his body forward. Although he was already running forward, this action only managed to mitigate part of the incoming force and his body was forcibly propelled several metres up into the skies! Chen Xiaolian fell into the rest stop’s shopping area. After falling, he only had enough time to push down the two girls onto the ground so that they do not raise their heads…
The shockwave spread out and the windows of the surrounding buildings were blown into smithereens!
The scattering of the heat wave was over!
At that moment, everyone from the Meteor Rock Guild had charged into the shopping area, each of them crawling on the ground in varying postures.
After the heat had receded somewhat, they raised their heads and were shocked beyond belief!
They… could finally ‘see’ the monster!
The monster was originally invisible. However, after the explosion occurred, the resulting flames and gas that was sprayed out had partially adhered to its body. The sparks and flames, in addition to the many fragments and dusts…
Amidst these visible objects, the invisible monster’s outline could vaguely be discerned.
It appeared to be a…
It had a height of over 10 metres! Nearly three storeys high! It possessed a high number of claw shaped legs, as though it was a multi-legged monster.
No! It would be more accurate to say that it was not a monster… but… a giant insect?!
The gas that was stuck to its body burned, but it did not cause any damage to it! In addition… its body was very long! The shape of its body was somewhat similar to a snake’s. Its long body was stretched out, seemingly encircling the entire highway rest stop!
“Oh… son of a Hellish bitch! What the Hell is that thing?” Roddy cursed out.
Nagase Komi, raw: ‘长濑幸未’, pinyin: ‘zhǎng lài xìng wèi’.
Culkin, raw: ‘卡尔金’, pinyin: ‘kǎ’ěr jīn’.