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PFRG: Chapter 71

Ark Laboratory (3)

Chi Ting knew what Yue Ren was going to ask and gave a casual answer, “In our place, people with abilities are called superpowers. They are said to be the group of people chosen by God, but in fact, they just chose the luckiest direction in the process of being alienated. The essence of all superpowers is the product of alienation. So to me, alienation can be understood as an ordinary value that proves I am stronger than others.”

“So this is how you got your ability?” Yue Ren’s mouth seemed to curve with interest. It was hard to tell what his expression was under his glasses. “However, 74% sounds not just strong, but also dangerous.

Chi Ting glanced over. His expression said that no matter what, this person wouldn’t be in danger.

However, he didn’t refute it. He thought for a while and said, “Superpowers are products who can control all the alienation within their own bodies and won’t cause overload pollution. Rather than this, you might as well pay attention to the volunteers here. In the process of this type of pathological alienation, they can’t absorb all of it. This will cause synchronized radiation-like effects on the surroundings. The current degree of alienation is relatively low. The impact isn’t too great, but according to the settings of this instance, we will come into contact with it frequently during the process of research. The degree of alienation might exceed the safe level in the subsequent stages.”

Yue Ren let out an ‘oh’ and asked sincerely, “So what is the safety line?”

“Ordinary humans will have obvious discomfort reactions when it exceeds 20%. However, judging from your current situation, it is best to control it within 50% for safety reasons. Based on what I have usually seen, this can be regarded as an important dividing line for judging human identity.” Chi Ting didn’t think much when he answered. Then after he finished speaking, he realized that Yue Ren was staring directly at him and was slightly startled. “What’s wrong?”

“What’s wrong?” Yue Ren slowly took off his glasses on the bridge of his nose. He had a scrutinizing expression, and his rare playful smile was missing from his eyes. “20% will have obvious reactions, and 50% is the dividing line where more danger signals appear… So why can you, a person who has reached 74% alienation, still explain these things to me so normally?”

His tone gradually calmed down without any unnecessary fluctuations. “Chi Ting, how did you do it?”

Chi Ting was silent for a moment under such a gaze and smiled slightly. “The process of alienation can actually be understood as a type of external force fighting for ownership of your body. As long as you control this force for your own use, you can treat it as if nothing happened.”

Such an understatement didn’t improve Yue Ren’s mood. Instead, it made all the expressions on his face gradually fade away.

He stared straight at Chi Ting. He felt that he could probably guess what type of experiences this person had, but he also felt that some things couldn’t be empathized just by imagining them.

At this moment, he felt that he might have never fully known the Captain Chi in front of him, who talked about loving human beings every day but never took anything to heart.

Finally, Yue Ren retracted his gaze. He put his gold-rimmed glasses back on again and suddenly smiled. “Thank you for reminding me. I will pay attention next time.”

Chi Ting originally thought that Yue Ren would continue to ask questions, but in the end, Yue Ren let him go easily.

Then he saw Yue Ren turning around with a smile and saying, “Come on, I’ve finished asking. It is your turn.”

Chi Ting was slightly stunned. He turned his head and saw another person staring tearfully at him. “……”

Ji Xingque’s emotions had obviously been brewing for a long time, and now they have erupted very thoroughly. “Captain, didn’t you just pass 60^ when we separated? How much time has it been? How come it has increased by more than 10%? We have kept reminding you. How many times did you mess up after we were gone?!”

Chi Ting: “.”

He stretched out his hand and pressed down on Ji Xingque’s head. Then he cleared his throat. “What about the instance? Be serious and quickly determine the volunteer allocation.”

Then he waved to the other two people and motioned for them to come over. “Come, let’s do business first.”

Ji Xingque held back his words. He could only stare in anger and didn’t dare to speak.

The other two players listened silently and came over after hearing Chi Ting’s words.

Soon, several volunteers in the file were assigned.

After handing the confirmed selection over to the senior expert outside the door, the NPCs entered the data one by one. A new information file about the volunteers they were responsible for was added to everyone’s data panel. The development level also refreshed the different degrees of alienation of the volunteers they were responsible for.

Ji Xingque noticed such changes. “So the degree of development is related to the degree of alienation. The higher the degree of alienation, the higher the degree of development? Then if we want to complete the 100% development, doesn’t it mean we need to directly develop a different species? Didn’t you say that the Ark Laboratory was established to solve the problem of alienation? Why doesn’t this feel right?”

Yue Ren smiled. “Are you only thinking about developing an alien species?”

Ji Xingque was confused. “What else?”

“According to the rules of the game, every 20% of progress will give you access to a new permission area. This also means that once the development level reaches more than 80%, we can go to Area A of this Ark Laboratory.”

The senior expert had already left after the data was completed. Yue Ren raised his eyes slightly, and his gaze fell in the direction of the NPC’s disappearance. He smiled and said, “According to your Captain Chi, the alienation degree exceeding 50% is already a dangerous state that is out of the human category. Once the development level of these volunteers reaches 80%, are you sure you can still be like your captain and able to move freely as if nothing happens?”

Chi Ting: “.”

Every word sounded reasonable and flawless, but why did it feel like there was ridicule in the words?

He glanced at Yue Ren and said, “So the biggest difficulty in this game isn’t how to advance the research progress, but to ensure that one’s alienation degree remains within a relatively safe range while improving the development level. Now this instance is divided into five areas. If my guess isn’t wrong, there should be a specific way to control the degree of alienation in these areas. It is only by finding this method that we can successfully clear the instance step by step.”

“Yes, we are getting more and more aware of how to think about the balance of the instance’s design.” Yue Ren laughed and asked very modestly, “So what do we do now? Go directly to the volunteers to communicate about the next research plan or go to the database of Area E to find a way to control the degree of alienation?”

“Let’s just push the progress of the research.” The other two players had already left early. Chi Ting had nothing to avoid and said bluntly, “We only need 20% development to enter Area D. In any case, none of us have an alienation degree of less than 20%, so there is no need to worry about being affected.”

Yue Ren raised an eyebrow slightly and looked at Ji Xingque with curiosity. “It seems that your degree of alienation isn’t low?”

“It is a bit lower than yours,” Ji Xingque said. “31%. My alienation degree is only 31%.”

Yue Ren said, “Oh, the word ‘only’ is used well. It is indeed a bit low.”

Ji Xingque: “……”

Chi Ting interrupted the conversation between the two of them. “What is there to compare with… Let’s go. Hurry and push the progress forward.”

At the same time, in one of the databases of Area B of the Ark Laboratory.

The four members of the Watchtower team were gathered together, immersed in checking the vast database.

As the captain of the team, Rong Jie had obvious dark circles under his eyes during this time. This made the indescribable vicissitudes of life appear where there should be liveliness.

He had already lost count of how many databases he had consulted. At this time, looking at the dense list of documents, Rong Jie felt the dizziness in front of his eyes was getting stronger.

Even he didn’t notice that his somewhat empty and wandering gaze at this time made his expression seem to be overflowing with death. This look was very similar to the volunteers who had been studied for a long time and became increasingly less human.

Rong Jie quickly bought a bottle of refreshing potion from the points mall and drank it.

However, this could only barely lift his spirits a bit. It didn’t have the slightest effect on cleansing the chaos caused by the degree of alienation.

On Rong Jie’s virtual panel, it could be seen that his alienation degree had reached 47%.

This was definitely a very dangerous signal. At this level, many ordinary players with weak willpower had already completely lost themselves.

The other three members of the Watchtower team weren’t much better.

Compared to Rong Jie’s relatively normal appearance, the various parts of other people’s bodies had also changed significantly with the increase in the degree of alienation.

The extra bones and flesh balls that grew in their bodies added all types of troubles to their actions. This made the process of checking the research materials a bit confusing.

Compared with the physical torture, what made them more desperate was undoubtedly the fact that their thinking was obviously much slower after entering the instance.

In the unlimited world instance, absolute calmness was often the key to clear the instance.

Now a very simple question often required them to think about it in a daze for a while.

It took almost five minutes before Lan Pengyue remembered to turn the list to the next page. Lan Pengyue held down his agitated right hand again and managed to keep calm even when he was on the verge of collapse. “So where did this method of controlling the degree of alienation go? Even if the data of Areas D and C disappeared, why is there still no clue in Area B? The strategy guide clearly states that there should be records of the pharmaceutical formula in the B-324 database. We have been looking for it for a few days… so why?”

The other two team members also had heavy expressions when they heard his words.

Soon, one of them asked, “Is it possible that the guide was written incorrectly and isn’t in this database?”

“There can be no mistakes in the video clearance guide. We also purchased videos from different teams for confirmation before coming in. The formula for each instance is always in a fixed location in the database.”

The dizziness that kept surging up made Rong Jie press hard on the area between his eyebrows. After finally regaining his composure, he continued to speak. “Rather than a guide error, the current situation looks more like there is a problem with this instance itself. Let’s say that the advanced formula in Area B is hidden in other databases. What about Areas D and E? There is only so much valid information in those two areas. We have checked it all, and there is no content that reduces alienation at all. Even if the location mentioned in the guide is wrong, it should at least exist.”

Lan Pengyue asked, “Captain, do you want to say that the problem with this instance is…”

If it was any other ordinary player, he would’ve gone crazy. At this time, Rong Jie calmly stated the reality that he hadn’t wanted to admit in the past few days. “For some reason, all the research materials in this instance to reduce the degree of alienation might’ve disappeared.”

Such words caused a long silence.

The Watchtower team had entered the instance half a month ago. So far, they were the only ones who had successfully advanced the progress to Area B.

They were originally the group with the most hope of clearing this instance, but the conclusion given by Rong Jie at this moment undoubtedly cut off all hope.

According to the guide, under normal circumstances, players only needed to find the corresponding methods in each area to deduce their degree of alienation. In this way, they gradually developed the volunteer to 100%, and they could successfully pass the instance.

But now, the increasing degree of alienation among the Watchtower members couldn’t be reduced in any way.

Coming all the way to Area B had put them at a critical point of collapse both physically and mentally. If they continued to push the research progress to 80% and enter Area A, they were afraid they would suffer due to the excessive alienation before that, completely becoming a monster who had lost themselves due to the high degree of alienation.

Was it really impossible to get out?

Rong Jie now regretted taking his team members to this instance. After all, he initially thought he had found a good achievement points instance. He didn’t expect…

But compared to this, there was one person he felt more ashamed toward.

Rong Jie closed the database interface in front of him and stood up. He looked back at Song Xuefeng, who was napping next to him. “I’m sorry for dragging you into this situation.”

He regretted it, but he didn’t apologize to the others. After all, they were teammates who had lived and risked their lives together in several instances.

Meanwhile, Song Xuefeng was different.

After getting acquainted in the previous instance, Rong Jie did have the intention of winning him over. The main reason for calling him to this instance was to use this feeling of teamwork to tempt Song Xuefeng to join the team.

What he didn’t expect was that it ended up harming the other person.

The moment these words came out, the dozing off Song Xuefeng slowly raised his head.

His gray-white hair hung down casually. His drooping eyelids moved slowly as if this person was talking to him.

After yawning, he rubbed his head. Then Song Xuefeng said in a somber tone, “Ah… it doesn’t matter. Everyone will die sooner or later. You don’t need to worry too much about the details over whether it is earlier or later.”

“……”

Rong Jie didn’t expect that he could still be comforted at this time. The key was that he felt so at ease due to this comfort.

Rong Jie didn’t know what else to say. He saw Song Xuefeng’s unfocused eyes fall on the ceiling blankly as if remembering something. Then Song Xuefeng murmured, “Sometimes, the greater the hope, the greater the disappointment.  There is nothing wrong with giving up in time. In the current situation of this instance, I estimate that only one person can potentially clear the instance.”

He seemed to vaguely think of a person and there was an imperceptible light in the depths of his chaotic eyes. Then it soon dimmed bit by bit.

In the end, the aqua blue eyes returned to a sleepy and foggy state. “But forget it, he can’t appear here anyway. It is better to just take things as they come. Speaking of which, you all gave up. If so, can I leave? The staff cafeteria in Area B is pretty good. I wonder if I can find something delicious.”

Rong Jie noticed the content of the words and was about to ask who might’ve passed the level. Then he heard Lan Pengyue next to him suddenly curse.

He looked back hurriedly. “Are you feeling uncomfortable again?”

“No.”

Lan Pengyue shook his head and said with an expression of surprise, “Captain, look at the newly updated area numbers! Among those who just entered the instance, there are already players who have gone directly to Area D. Are they so reckless?”

Rong Jie opened the panel. He saw that the number of people in Area E, which originally showed five people alive, had suddenly decreased by three people. The number of people in Area D had also increased directly from the original three people to six people.

Who were these people who suddenly entered this instance?

It had to be known that even they had spent a whole day after entering the instance to confirm that the data in Area E was missing. Then they made the decision to enter Area D.

Rong Jie and Lan Pengyue exchanged looks. They faintly caught a glimmer of hope in each other’s eyes.

Would there be any old acquaintances among the people entering the instance this time?

Had any of the top masters in the rankings come in?

Song Xuefeng glanced over when he heard the conversation. Then he lowered his eyes without interest.

Compared with those great gods, he was more interested in finding something to eat later.

Comment

  1. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for the update

  2. clozed says:

    look a little longer! argh if only there were cameras then he would be able to see his captain 🥹

  3. azalea says:

    i cant wait for his reunion with his captain. thanks for the translation and welcome back!!

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