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Sorry! Something urgent came up at work and I will be extremely busy. Just to be sure, I won't be updating for a month, so next update will by the 1st of June.

PFRG: Chapter 7

Love Apartment (7)

Chi Ting spent half a day increasing the favorability of the female model next door. He successfully went up to the 13th floor before the sun set and completed the rendezvous with Li Tao.

In addition to the two of them, there was Xiang Xianwan, a resident originally on the 13th floor, and Gong Jing, a player who lived on the 14th floor. They all gathered together, and the meeting place was chosen to be the living room of Room 1302.

This was their first meeting on the nearest floor, and everyone’s attitude was quite solemn.

“Other people haven’t gained enough favorability, and we are the only ones who can come here now.” Li Tao looked at Chi Ting and hesitated to speak. Finally, he handed another sentence. “If you actively increase favorability, you can go up to the 14th floor to gather. Then we can also meet Chang Hefeng on the 16th floor. That kid is pretty good and is very active in gaining favorability. He is an old player and should be able to help a lot in the future.”

Chi Ting naturally heard the disgust in his words. “I’ll be more active next time.”

The words should be straightforward, but Li Tao inexplicably heard a strong perfunctory tone from it. He was choked up. “Forget it. Let’s just gather here for today.”

He sighed deeply. Then he took out his phone and made a video call very neatly. Soon, Chang Hefeng’s face appeared on the mobile phone screen. He didn’t forget to actively greet everyone present.

Chi Ting instinctively smiled. He leaned toward the camera and waved. “Hi.”

Sure enough, humans were warm and friendly creatures. It was really flattering.

The overly strong kindness caught Li Tao off guard, and he reflexively protected his eyes. “Just get acquainted casually. Let’s hurry and discuss business. It is about to be evening.”

These words came out, and it became silent.

Due to the psychological effect, everyone felt a vague chill rushing from the bottom of their feet to the top of their heads.

As a novice player, Xiang Xianwan’s performance was actually quite calm. She thought about what happened last night, and her face was slightly gloomy. “Then what should we do now? If it is really like you said and the activity limits of these NPCs are related to our favorability—if we continue to carry out the favorability strategy… should we continue to carry it out?”

She looked around slowly. She obviously knew very well that since there were a few players who could come and gather today, it meant there were already several NPCs from different floors who could freely come to her floor to ‘visit.’

Tonight, it would definitely become more lively.

The puzzle eventually came back to square one.

It was as if players were directly placed at an intersection. Someone pointed in front of them and said, “See these two roads? The left is death, and the right is also death. Choose one.”

This time, Li Tao was very resolute. “Increase it! In any case, there is no way back. There might be a glimmer of life if we fight hard!”

He directly took a piece of paper and slapped it on the ground. He listed it one by one. “In this way, after going back, increase the favorability of those on the lower floors as much as possible during the day to ensure that you can move smoothly downstairs. Then gather together to rush down. According to the food and water provided in our homes, it should last seven days. We will fight during these seven days and gather at that time, okay?”

Seven days?

Chi Ting thought of the lunch he had just eaten with Yue Ren and suddenly felt a bit regretful.

Li Tao noticed the change in Chi Ting’s expression. “Is there something wrong?”

Forget it. If there wasn’t enough food then it wasn’t enough. Fighting against hunger was originally a compulsory course for their scavengers after the end of the world. In any case, they couldn’t die if they starved for a day or two.

Chi Ting stopped thinking and shook his head. “No, you continue to arrange it.”

With his personal skills, Li Tao could be said to have read countless people. However, this was the first time he had encountered an elusive existence as Chi Ting.

Still, he didn’t ask anything else and directly clapped. “Then it will be decided like this first! Hurry up. Every night at 9 o’clock is the time of the video call meeting. You can bring up any problems at that time. Whether it works or not probably depends on this time. Life is ours, and the future is ours! The road ahead still has to rely on our own struggle. Come on—!”

The others shouted in unison, “Come on!”

Chi Ting didn’t quite understand the sudden injection of energy in these human beings, but he was willing to follow the flow. “Yes, come on.”

For the rest of the time, several people provided strategies for the NPCs on their respective floors. Then today’s meeting ended in a hurry before evening arrived.

They had been fighting alone before. Now there was someone else to discuss countermeasures with, and everyone’s emotions were obviously much more stable than when it first started.

Before leaving, the host Xiang Xianwan enthusiastically squeezed a glass of orange juice for everyone.

Chi Ting also got a cup.

He held this juice full of human love in his hand. The curve of his mouth became more and more obvious. Li Tao couldn’t hold back and leaned over to quietly ask< “Are you sure you aren’t interested in this girl?”

Chi Ting looked at him doubtfully. “Why are you asking that?”

Why? It is because you are smiling so cheaply!

It wasn’t that the unlimited world gamers didn’t deserve love. It was just that in this high-pressure environment, it was hard to imagine how strong a heart they needed to still have the desire to talk about a relationship.”

Li Tao didn’t know what to say for a while. He pushed open the door with one hand and unintentionally raised his head. Then the words that came to his mouth were completely choked up.

The conversation and laughter of others also stopped at this moment.

Chi Ting was the last one. He followed their gazes, and the first thing he saw was the open door of Room 1301 and the petite figure holding a doll.

It could only be said that what happened last night really frightened Gloria. It was so much so that after a whole day, the NPC’s face was still sickly pale.

The sudden silence made her figure standing alone at the door look even more desolate. Once she met the eyes of the other people, her grin became bright and straight. Her gaze gradually passed over several players. Once it finally fell on Chi Ting’s body, it could clearly be seen that the corners of her mouth curved in a provocative smile suddenly pulled down.

Then Chi Ting watched helplessly as the favorability value above the other person’s head jumped sharply.

[Favorability value -10.]

Chi Ting, who hadn’t done anything yet: “?”

Did this mean that she felt bored at the sight of him?

“Ah, Gloria. Why did you come out?” The moment Xiang Xianwan gave the greeting, the subtle sense of oppression around them suddenly subsided a lot. Xiang Xianwan seemed to be familiar with the NPCs on the same floor and was smiling when she faced the little girl. “Is there still no one at home? Why don’t I play with you for a while today?”

She led the girl inside while waving her hands desperately behind her to signal for others to leave quickly.

“Yes, Gloria likes to play with you.” Gloria’s smile that appeared again looked innocent at first glance. She took Xiang Xianwan’s hand and walked toward the house without giving anyone else an extra look, especially Chi Ting.

Once the door closed, the rest of the people signed in unison.

Li Tao saw that Chi Ting was still standing in place and patted him on the shoulder. “Let’s go. Don’t look. Later, you just need to start increasing the favorability for those on the 11th floor. The NPCs of this floor don’t need to be researched. It has nothing to do with you.”

Chi Ting stopped and retracted his gaze.

The last time Gloria looked at Xiang Xianwan, he inexplicably thought of the expression she showed toward the photo last night. It was full of greed and possessiveness.

He hoped it was just his illusion.

That night, the number of NPCs walking in the corridor increased significantly.

The sound of footsteps filled the entire apartment building. It was especially obvious in the silent night.

Many people stayed up until dawn with their eyes wide open in fear. They were driven by the increasing motivation to get out of here and started to increase the favorability of the NPCs even more frantically.

Chi Ting slept fairly well.

He opened the player chat group in a sleepy manner and casually glanced at the content of the messages. He could clearly feel that many players were gradually collapsing.

This made him feel a bit emotional.

Human beings in peacetime times were indeed more fragile in terms of mental strength.

There was also Xiang Xianwan’s message on his phone. Judging from the messages she sent, it seemed that Yue Ren, the NPC set as a corporate drone, wasn’t at home today.

After replying to her with ‘Find 1201 first. Don’t mess with 1203’, Chi Ting turned around and went into the bedroom. He officially left after washing up.

Today, the ones he was aiming for were on the 11th floor.

The person living in Room 1102 was the same Li Hou who made Li Tao feel very uncomfortable. Chi Ting liked having social interactions with other humans. It was a pity that the other person wasn’t at home at this point in time.

He could only knock on the next apartment’s door.

The two families on the 11th floor were a star-rated chef and a pet store owner who liked small animals.

Chi Ting discussed recipes with the former and then went to the other apartment to pet a cat for the afternoon. The progress of the favorability value was quite impressive.

After a busy day, he went home. At 9 o’clock in the evening, against the sound of footsteps coming and going outside and huge movements from time to time, the first video conference of the group was officially launched.

The content of the meeting was actually very simple. It was to check what everyone encountered. At the same time, it was to help each other solve the problems in the capture strategy process, so as to ensure sufficient progress.

It was already the third night where NPCs were running rampant, and the players in the instance were more or less numb to it.

Ignoring the movement outside, the entire communication process was quite rapid. Going up through the order of floors, after Chi Ting, Xiang Xianwan, Gong Jing, and Li Tao finished speaking, it was finally Chang Hefeng’s turn.

“Today, I woke up at 8 o’clock in the morning…”

Chang Hefeng had a kind, round face. When he opened his mouth, he directly used the same opening words as the previous people and quickly simplified the things he did in the morning. “Then I came back and ate something casually to pad my stomach. I went out at around 1 o’clock in the afternoon. Then I came back in the evening, finished eating, and waited for the meeting with you.”

Li Tao asked, “We know you went out, but what happened after you went out?”

Chang Hefeng replied, “Huh? Didn’t I say it? I prepared for the meeting with you when I got back.”

Li Tao was a bit speechless. “…I’m asking about your afternoon, your afternoon. What exactly did you do when you went out in the afternoon?”

“Didn’t I say what I did?” Chang Hefeng scratched his head and seriously thought about it. Finally, he remembered from his vague memory, but his tone while answering was full of hesitation. “I met Ah Wei when I went out in the afternoon. Then… then I went to his home gym with him to exercise. Oh yes, I should’ve spent the afternoon at his home gym.”

Li Tao: “???”

Of course, he knew that the Ah Wei that Chang Hefeng mentioned was a resident of Room 1603 next door. It was precisely because he knew this that he was even more speechless. “You live on the highest floor among us. Didn’t you say that you needed to lift the restrictions of the lower floors as soon as possible? Why do you still have time to play with your neighbor on the same floor?”

Li Tao was thinking about the collective progress and was naturally angry at this perfunctory attitude. As a result, Chang Hefeng’s expression became even more puzzled. “But I have lived here for so long. Every afternoon is the time to exercise with Ah Wei. Isn’t it normal?”

Li Tao was originally just angry. Suddenly, the words that came to his mouth were completely choked down.

A deathly silence fell over the video call.

The rustling sound from the corridor became the only background sound.

Chang Hefeng was originally a bit puzzled by the silence of the others. Then he suddenly realized it, and his expression changed. “I, why do I…?”

That’s right. Why did he subconsciously think that exercising with his NPC neighbor every day was a normal thing?”

In the silence, Chi Ting said, “Do you still remember what exercises you did when you go to Ah Wei’s place every day?”

Huge sweat beads the size of soybeans started to appear on Chang Hefeng’s pale face. He thought hard and instinctively hugged his head tightly. But only the words spoken in a tone of despair came out dully, “I… I don’t know. I can’t remember! I can’t think of anything! How can it be… how…?”

This type of struggling emotion seemed to be transmitted by everyone participating in the meeting through the video screen. They vaguely felt a trace of trembling.

There was no need for Chang Hefeng to say anything else.

Everyone had realized that there was a gap in his memory.

The night wind blew in coldly through the window.

The video conference hadn’t ended, but everyone’s screens seemed to freeze.

“Ding dong—! Ding dong—!”

It wasn’t until the sudden ringing of the doorbell that everyone’s mind returned from the icy state of their bodies. They instinctively looked around for confirmation. Then they confirmed that the doorbell came from the video call.

“Who is ringing the doorbell…?”

The words stopped abruptly.

They didn’t need an answer any longer.

In the video screen, they could see the despair on Chang Hefeng’s face fade little by little like dye washed away in the rain. A smile that could be called joyful suddenly appeared on his face.

In the next second, it became even more distorted due to the expression of wanting to cry.

Chang Hefeng seemed to be trying very hard to retain his sanity. Then in the end, he still couldn’t control the smile that spread across his face little by little. He stood up with a happy expression while his eyes were tearful. He muttered words, and they could vaguely hear him saying, “It is Ah Wei… Ah Wei, he is coming to me again…”

Xiang Xianwan had already covered her mouth tightly at this excessively weird scene. Then when she saw Chang Hefeng really put down his phone to stand up, she yelled in horror, “Don’t go! Don’t open the door—!”

Everything was useless.

Chang Hefeng’s figure completely left the camera. The sound of slippers against the group gradually faded away. This was finally accompanied by the sound of the door opening and closing. There was only an eternal silence around them.

In the long and almost endless silence, Xiang Xianwan gritted her teeth tightly so that she didn’t sob.

Then she heard someone let out a low sigh.

Chi Ting seemed to have been thinking about it for a long time before figuring out how to comfort them. “Don’t worry. I guess it is useless even if he isn’t dead. If you want to cry then just cry.”

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