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Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
What Lin Sanjiu did not know was that her escape was forged with the lives of people.
Given their situation, she was confident that all three of them would be finished if she remained indecisive. Setting her jaw tight, Lin Sanjiu ordered Mrs. Manas to take care of the Higher Consciousness before changing the rocket to its highest speed.
Just as she charged towards the running track at her top speed, she sent her Higher Consciousness forward to intercept the blizzard of lead balls. She wanted to knock them down before they could touch her. This was, indeed, a brilliant idea, and although it was challenging to carry out such a feat, it was not impossible.
The only thing Lin Sanjiu did not know was that her action had sent a dozen shot putters towards death.
Runners were fast. You could hardly notice them when they zoomed past your line of sight, let alone try to hit them with a lead ball.
Also, shot putters were required to clear at least half of the lead balls before the game ended. Hence, the moment the game started, most of the players would fetch as much lead balls as they could and go after the runners.
If you had more lead balls, you would have a better rate of hitting a runner. However, this also meant that the shot putter would have to shoulder another hundred or thousand pounds of burden with his body.
Not only did they have to keep up with the wildly swift runners while carrying a hundred or a thousand pounds of weight on them, but they also still had to aim carefully before making any shot. In a way, only posthumans from the Twelve World Centrum were capable of such complicated maneuvers. If the player failed to satisfy the trajectory’s desire to devour a person before running out of lead balls, the trajectory would turn its head and gobble up the thrower instead.
Right now, most of the runners had been knocked out by Puppeteer alone, so there were not many targets left on the running tracks. On top of that, Puppeteer had demanded them to finish the game in one minute, which did nothing but add dread to their situation. Their stock of lead balls soon ran low. To make the situation even worse, their last-ditch effort, which was also their final hope, was effortlessly thwarted by Lin Sanjiu’s wall of Higher Consciousness.
Lin Sanjiu had recovered a large chunk of her Higher Consciousness after she had rested for several days. In fact, she could even feel that her Higher Consciousness had increased. With Mrs. Manas’s help, at long last, she stepped onto the running track at the same time that the countdown reached zero.
The shot put players in the distance did not even have a chance to scream before they were pulled towards the front. The trajectory glowed and disappeared alongside with a player.
Of course, it all happened behind Lin Sanjiu’s back.
“Why… Why they have stopped throwing the balls?” Lin Sanjiu gasped as she slowly recovered from the aftermath of using the highest gear of the rocket.
“It seems like they have run out of lead balls,” the fatty answered with a sharper voice after he turned and looked behind. Soulsqn looked at him, wondering, “Hmm, why did you take off another layer?”
The fatty gave a bitter smile. As Lin Sanjiu was busy evading the unabating onslaught of lead balls, the fatty was almost hit by one of the shots. He was so startled that he took off another layer and made himself even smaller so that he could hide better on Lin Sanjiu’s shoulder. He was now only as large as two human fists.
Soulsqn, on the other hand, still retained her human form.
“So, can I say that we survived the path of the shot puts?” Lin Sanjiu asked warily. She dared not to turn around to see her back for she did not have the freedom to make such a maneuver right now. Her face was wet with sweat that stung her eyes, and her vision was clouded.
“Maybe,” Soulsqn coiled herself around Lin Sanjiu’s shoulders like a snake, “But this is so unfair! We have to run like hell while all they did was just throwing balls at us!”
The fatty looked at the people, who were disappearing one after another. He opened his mouth, but the words were stuck in his throat.
Lin Sanjiu had no idea how many of them had fallen victim to the glittering trajectories. Aside from the five contenders running ahead of her, she could not see anybody else around. She felt cold. Perhaps it was due to the lingering fear, or the exhaustion that had been building up and began to set in, she did not know. Every time a blast of wind hit her, it would steal some of her body heat.
She continued to run alone. Well, practically, she was not alone because Time was still chasing them tirelessly behind. After some pensiveness, she gritted her teeth and picked up her speed. Just when she was about to catch up with the runners ahead, she asked in a ragged breath, “How long do we still need to run for?”
Contender no. 17 turned his head to face her. His afro hair swayed along with every gust of wind. “Yo, you survived!”
Lin Sanjiu did not smile. With a pallid face, she nodded her head incessantly.
“Didn’t you read the description before the game?” A voice came from behind them.
Lin Sanjiu turned around towards the direction of the sound, but she could not make out anything amidst the gale. She yelled back, “This is my first time joining the game. I don’t know what to read.”
“There’s still one more section to go,” no. 17 replied, “After going through the swimming pool, only then will the game end.”
It would not be too far-fetched to say that Lin Sanjiu almost passed out when she heard the news. She felt so upset. However, no. 17 was a person with high emotional intelligence. As if he knew what she was thinking, he comforted her, “Don’t worry! The next section is pretty easy!”
Lin Sanjiu did not reply. She was too worn out to utter a single syllable right now. She set her jaw tightly as she endured the pain that coursed through her body, and pushed herself to follow the remaining contender behind.
It turned out that what no. 17 had said was the truth. Compared to shot putting, swimming was much more manageable.
This was because it was their turn to meddle with the swimmers this time.
Lin Sanjiu did not know which apocalyptic world this swimming pool belonged to. When she saw a pool of crystal blue water appear instead of a running track, she heaved the longest sigh of relief in her life. She finally could take a rest.
“Keep running!” As the thought surfaced in her mind, no. 17 barked out his order, “Everyone, jump!”
‘Jump? We need to swim?’
At that moment, Lin Sanjiu felt her blood boil. Before she could ask anything, no. 17 and the other runners in front of her had jumped into the air. Five figures appeared on top of the aquamarine blue pool that was as wide as a stream. For a second, she seemed to have heard the sound of water splashing.
Nevertheless, she did not hear anything in reality. There was no sound other than a few exclamations.
Lin Sanjiu hastened her steps and came to a halt at the edge of the pool. She was stunned. As if he was surfing, no. 17 was standing on the back of a swimmer. He crouched down a little to maintain his balance. Then, another person jumped onto that poor swimmer back, crushing him deep into the water. The water swelled up to no.17’s chest before the swimmer struggled back to the surface.
Aside from no. 17, the other runners had also jumped onto a swimmer’s back whenever they a chance. They were struggling to maintain their balance, fighting as the swimmers continued to swim forward. Waves were rose and broke while shouts, curses, and yells of hatred filled the air. Anarchy ruled.
“Holy shit!” Soulsqn exclaimed, “How sadistic! The one who designed the game must be a genius!”
“Time!” the fatty shouted sharply, “Time is coming!”
Even at this crucial moment, he still did not have the guts to yell at Lin Sanjiu to jump into the water.
The problem now was that Lin Sanjiu had lost her only chance to grab herself a swimmer. She did not know why, but perhaps some of the swimmers had died halfway through, or there were not many participants, to begin with. She only saw a dozen of them, and they had already gone beyond her reach.
The swimming pool that lay before her stretched endlessly as far as her eyes could see. She peered around and could not find any land that she could use to run atop. The number “10” appeared on the ground below her feet. Apparently, she had to go into the water to continue the game.
“I can’t swim!” Lin Sanjiu said, “If there’s no one there to hold me, I’ll drown!” She had used up all the rope that she had been accumulating, and she was not very sure if All Birds Pay Homage to the Phoenix would work, so she did not dare to take the risk. Under the circumstances of her being chased, if her target fought back against the effect of All Birds Pay Homage to the Phoenix, she was sure that she would get swallowed up by Time before she could hop onto a swimmer’s back.
“Why you are so useless?!” Soulsqn snarled. Then, before she could finish her sentence, the fatty chimed in, “I can help!”
Lin Sanjiu was stunned. The next thing she saw was the fatty suddenly leaping into the water.
“What is he doing?” Soulsqn snapped again, “This ungrateful wretch! How dare he…”
Soulsqn could barely finish her complaint, and the fatty began to make his move. He pulled a red flag out of nowhere and wrapped it around a brass trumpet. Then, he raised the trumpet to his lips and blasted a mighty blow.
[Heed to The Call of Socialism]
This Special Item has two parts: a trumpet and a red flag. Each time, the user has to wrap the trumpet with the red flag before blowing it. Anyone in the vicinity who hears the trumpet (a maximum of 13 people) will gather around the red flag in less than 30 seconds and sing the anthem “L’internationale.”
Condition to note: If a Russian wants to use this Special Item, he or she must be born before the year 1991.
Without waiting for the fatty’s call, Lin Sanjiu had leaped into the water.
As water splashed high into the air, all of the swimmers and runners, who made up a total of 12 people, began to gather around Lin Sanjiu as they sang the lyrics, “The Internationale shall certainly be realized.” Concurrently, the fatty mounted onto Lin Sanjiu’s shoulder, yelling into her ear, “Hurry! Now is your chance!”
The trumpet affected everybody who heard its sound, foes and allies alike. After Lin Sanjiu had regained her consciousness, she seized the chance and jumped onto a tall and lean back.
The swimmer was sent into the water the moment Lin Sanjiu mounted his back. He took in a few large gulps of water, and when he resurfaced, his face scrunched up as he snapped exasperatedly, “How dare you get me back here!? Why do I have to fetch three people?”
“Quit yapping and start swimming!” Soulsqn hissed, “Although we have more people here, I’m sure we can make you swim faster! Chop-chop and get going! Time is here!”
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