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PFRG: Chapter 73

Ark Laboratory (5)

“Captain, are you sure we should wait for Old Song here?” Ji Xingque didn’t doubt Chi Ting’s decision. All his worries were entirely due to the fact that the person they were waiting for was Song Xuefeng. “I don’t know why Old Song joined that Watchtower team, but you know his personality. I feel that even if he really joins the team, Captain Rong might not be able to control him. I feel that it is already good that he came here a few times. If he suddenly doesn’t want to go through the trouble…”

“No, he has always been very measured when it comes to saving people,’ Chi Ting replied while looking back countless times.

In fact, he had noticed it from the beginning. After arriving at this laboratory, Yue Ren kept looking at the other three players. It was hard to tell what he was thinking from his expression.

There was a pause before Chi Ting finally expressed his doubts. “Do you think there is something wrong with them?”

“There isn’t a problem,” Yue Ren replied. “I’m just thinking about one thing.”

“What are you thinking about?”

Chi Ting almost blurted out. Then he had a vague premonition of something bad when Yue Ren turned around and smiled as their eyes met.

Sure enough, he heard the man say slowly, “I’m just thinking. The alienation degree is just over 20%, and these people have been tortured to be so inhuman and ghostly. Then if it continues to increase, what type of feeling will it be?”

The moment these words came out, Yue Ren looked at Chi Ting with a smile.

He didn’t need an answer. After a moment, the corners of his mouth curled up and he summed it up sincerely, “I really want to experience it.”

Ji Xingque happened to be nearby and heard the conversation between the two of them. He looked over with an expression full of shock. “Normal people can’t wait to hide from alienation, but you want to experience it?”

Yue Ren smiled. “Do you think I am like a normal person?”

This comment, with an overly clear sense of self-awareness, made Ji Xingque completely silent.

He paused before saying calmly, “…There is no rush to seek death.”

“Why am I seeking death?” Yue Ren pointed at Chi Ting next to him. “There is such a big ready-made experiencer. Isn’t it possible to live well?”

Ji Xingque was extremely angry at this sophistry. “Can this be the same?”

Yue Ren showed an expression of humbly asking for advice. “So what is different?”

Ji Xingque opened his mouth and was about to refute it when he saw Chi Ting’s gaze out of the corner of his eyes. All the words stopped in his throat. After a while, he muttered in a low voice, “In any case, not everyone is like the captain. If you aren’t careful, you don’t know how you will die.”

Yue Ren glanced at Chi Ting and then at Ji Xingque again. He slowly raised an eyebrow, but it wasn’t known how much he listened to. “Thank you for reminding me.”

Next to him, Chi Ting stood up and stopped them. “If there is nothing else to do, let’s go to the data room first.”

In fact, waiting for Song Xuefeng wasn’t the only reason why he wasn’t in a hurry to advance. The more important point was that Chi Ting also wanted to see if there were any clues related to the Ark Laboratory in this Area D.

In this world, the Ark Laboratory was just a vague legend from over 40 years ago. Everyone knew the purpose of its establishment, but no one knew what happened before it was completely destroyed.

All the records related to this place seemed to tell them that humans made tenacious efforts in the process of fighting alienation. Other than that, no valid information was left.

The database in Area E was very small. It was basically a collection of inconsequential records. There weren’t many clues to be found.

However, after entering Area D, there seemed to be a lot of research and development records in the database that had been directly expanded by ten times.

Chi Ting opened the computer host of the database and quickly browsed the list. He could find that in addition to the information he had seen in Area E, there were also many new research results added.

He couldn’t understand the specific content, but the research success seemed to be based on the first batch of volunteers. A lot of the experimental data was recorded in categories and ended before entering the second phase of the experiment.

If nothing unexpected happened, the experimental records of this second phase should be in the database of Area C.

However, it was as those players said. Chi Ting scanned the records at a glance. He found many records of physical alienation among the laboratory researchers, but there was no relevant content about resisting the occurrence of such alienation.

He found that several documents were blank as if someone had deliberately deleted them.

Chi Ting pondered on it for a moment. He turned around and was about to ask about Yue Ren’s progress but fell silent when he saw the other person’s screen.

It wasn’t known how this person did it, but Yue Ren actually found the minesweeper app from the internal computer of the Ark Laboratory. He looked very interested and had obviously been playing for a long time.

Yue Ren probably noticed the gaze that fell on him. He clicked on the mouse lightly and accurately made a whole minefield appear on the interface. Then he looked back with a serious face and stated, “This instance really has a problem.”

“……” If it wasn’t for seeing the dereliction of duty with his own eyes, Chi Ting would’ve really believed this correct attitude. Soon, the corners of his lips also rose slightly. The raised tone was full of the meaning that ‘I will listen to you quietly’. “Oh, what is the problem?”

Yue Ren blurted out, “There is a lot of information here.”

Next to him, Ji Xingque was numbly flipping through the contents of the database with his hands supporting his eyes. He couldn’t help muttering when he heard these words, “Nonsense. It is a list with hundreds of pages. How can it not be a lot?”

Yue Ren was noncommittal about this complaint. He still maintained his smiling demeanor while quietly watching Chi Ting.

He knew that the other person must’ve understood what he was trying to say.

Sure enough, Chi Ting stopped for a moment and nodded. “Indeed.”

Ji Xingque thought that the captain would say a few words to this crazy guy acting lazy. Then when he saw the two of them looking at each other and smiling, his expression became even more confused. “Huh?”

“Of course, it is a big problem.” Chi Ting used the mouse to pull the page down a few times but still didn’t reach the bottom. “This is only the database of Area D, and it is already more than 10 times larger than Area E. So what about Area C, B, and even A further back? There is such a high number of records that it looks like it is really storing experimental data obtained over many years.”

Ji Xingque’s eyes widened in confusion. “Isn’t this a normal thing?”

Yue Ren chuckled softly. “It is normal for the Ark Laboratory, but where we are now is a game instance. Excuse me, what type of instance designer can actually write such a staggering number of experimental records in order to build the game? Even if it was really written by the designer, they wouldn’t be so concerned with content that has no effect on the instance itself.”

He blinked and said sincerely, “After all, even if you find someone to help, it will take at least several years of preparation.”

Ji Xingque figured out the meaning of the words, and the look in his eyes turned into astonishment.

Immediately afterward, he exclaimed due to the possible associations, “This can’t be the real Ark Laboratory, can it? That isn’t right either!”

“I’m afraid we won’t know these things until we find out the truth about this unlimited world,” Yue Ren said as he closed the mini game interface on the screen while seeing that Chi Ting continued to scroll down.

He slowly stood up and walked quietly behind Chi Ting.

He stretched out a hand and covered Chi Ting’s eyes with his broad palm, still smiling and teasing him. “We’ve been here for a long time. It is time for us to take a break, Captain Chi.”

Among the three of them, Yue Ren was undoubtedly the laziest, but at this time, he was the first to confidently ask for a break.

In response to this, Ji Xingque was suffering from back pain and didn’t express contempt for once. Instead, he secretly praised Yue Ren.

Once the light from the computer in front of him was blocked, Chi Ting finally felt his eyes becoming sore and swollen.

He reached out to push Yue Ren’s hand away. Then he rubbed his eyes lightly and nodded, “Then let’s go back first.”

He came out of the data room and realized that they had stayed in the data room until midnight without paying attention.

There weren’t many people coming and going in the Ark Laboratory at night. The busy and crowded passages during the day were now only left with white lights falling from the top, driving away the darkness of the night.

Some low, hoarse roars that didn’t sound like human voices could be faintly heard. They undoubtedly came from the volunteers in Area D whose development level was higher than 20%.

The overall mental state was indeed much better than when they arrived, but there were many times when they lost themselves. This was a normal trend in which the alienation characteristics gradually became apparent.

“Huh? Why are those players still in the laboratory? Ji Xingque’s voice was suddenly heard before stopping abruptly.

Chi Ting had just raised his head and was yawning lazily. The moment he heard these words, he paused. Then he raised his eyes and happened to meet the eyes of Ji Xingque, who was also looking back.

Ji Xingque obviously wasn’t sure either. “Captain, it can’t be…”

Chi Ting had already taken a step. “Go over and take a look.”

Yue Ren could only sigh in confusion when the two resolute backs entered his vision.

He paused in the middle of the corridor for a moment. Then he slowly adjusted the glasses on the bridge of his nose, inserted his hands into his white coat, and walked over.

The laboratory during the day was filled with heavy gasps.

In comparison, the three players staying in Area D were obviously much more awake than before.

The clothes on their bodies were strongly soaked with sweat, but their expressions were full of gratitude. “Thank you, thank you, Brother Song! We felt very wrong when we woke up in the past few days. Now we finally feel much better!”

Song Xuefeng had just finished using his ability and was obviously a bit tired.

He found a chair next to him and sat down. His eyelids were already drooping, and he answered sleepily when he heard these words, “You’re welcome.”

Originally, he should’ve gone back directly at this time, but today was different from previous times. Rong Jie, the captain of the Watchtower team, also specially followed him back to Area D. His purpose was obviously because of the new arrivals. He wanted to know the situation better.

Song Xuefeng thought of this and couldn’t help sighing deeply in his heart.

It could only be said that there were times when a human’s survival consciousness was really magical. It could always inspire people with endless energy.

Of course, it couldn’t be said to be bad. It just happened that his alienation process caused him to lose this type of thing, and now he had no intention of participating.

Song Xuefeng rubbed a handful of hair with a sleepy expression. He just wanted to go back and rest early.

He glanced at Rong Jie and urged him to finish his questioning quickly.

Rong Jie saw that Song Xuefeng was reminding him by yawning several times in succession. He looked like he might fall asleep at any time, so Rong Jie didn’t dare to delay it for too long. He got straight to the point. “There should be a few new players in Area D today. Have you seen them?”

“I’ve seen them, I’ve seen them.” The player with a cracked face had just been treated, and his mind was obviously much clearer. He replied as if he wanted credit. “I have emphasized the information to them as you reminded me before. Due to the danger, they chose to stay here today. It seems they won’t be rushing to push forward the progress for the time being, so don’t worry.”

Rong Jie originally wanted to see if any great master had entered the dungeon. Now he felt his heart sinking when he saw the player’s expression.

He paused but still asked with a glimmer of hope. “You… don’t know them?”

“I don’t know them.” The player was confused when asked. “They said they are players from the 13th World. I don’t know why they didn’t stay in the new area and instead got a few water curtain tickets to play. They ended up choosing this place. What’s wrong, Captain Rong? Is there any problem?”

All hope was finally completely dashed. Soon, Rong Jie shook his head with a wry smile. “No, it’s okay. I thought too much.”

Such a look fell into the eyes of the other players, who exchanged looks with each other before asking anxiously, “Captain Rong, how is the progress of this instance now?”

“Don’t worry, we are still working hard to advance.” Rong Jie didn’t reveal too much to these ordinary players and waved to them with a forced smile. “You should be more careful next time. Then we will go back first.”

As he spoke, he greeted Song Xuefeng next to him.

In just a few minutes, Song Xuefeng actually fell asleep while sitting there. Once someone called him, he opened his eyes in confusion. It took him a long time to realize where he was now.

He yawned lazily before standing up to unsteadily follow Rong Jie. He was ready to go back together.

Just as the two of them were about to walk to the door, someone outside suddenly pushed the door of the laboratory open.

Several players recognized the people coming in and said, “Captain Rong, these three are the new players who entered the instance today!”

Rong Jie quickly glanced at them. Sure enough, he didn’t see any familiar figures. He sighed helplessly in his heart.

What he didn’t see was that the still sleepy man behind him inadvertently looked up and glanced over, only to stare straight at the figure at the door without looking away.

After a long time, Song Xuefeng maintained his standing posture and slowly closed his eyes again.

He wasn’t awake, but he actually saw his captain.

Comment

  1. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for the update

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