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Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
After he settled everything, Lin Sheng walked out of the rented yard.
There was a simple sign hanging outside, which read “Steel Fist Fight Club” .
There were signs of incomplete work around the area, and certain parts were not even painted yet.
“They really just cobbled a place up…” Lin Sheng was speechless.
No wonder they were so quick in setting it up.
He did not pay it any more attention and simply walked down the street that the fight club was on, sweeping his gaze left and right.
There was an Internet café on the right-hand side, and the shop’s sign read “New Era Internet Café” .
There were a few fifteen to sixteen-year-old kids squatting by the door, smoking and b*llshiting as they proceeded into the building.
“I haven’t gone online for a while now, let’s go have a look.”
He walked passed the two smoking youths and pushed the transparent glass door open.
Inside were two neat rows of slightly dirty computers.
On the right-hand side of the café was a counter, and a young lady, no more than twenty was manning it. She was eating a cup of instant noodles while watching some soap opera.
There was a sign on the countertop.
“¥1.50 per hour. For members, top-up ¥100, get an extra ¥50.”
“I’d like a unit for three hours.”
Lin Sheng looked at the clock on the wall, and since he was already out, he gave an excuse and told his parents that he was out with friends. So, he had the whole afternoon to himself.
It was only a little over three o’clock now, and dinner time would arrive in three hours; it was perfect.
The counter girl looked up at him.
“I need your ID. Do you remember it? If you don’t, you need to use a temporary card, and the rates will be higher.”
Lin Sheng quickly gave her his ID number and paid for the usage.
He then bought a bottle of mineral water from the counter and took it to his assigned PC.
As he hit the start button, he waited for the blue CPU loading screen and the NWE operating system to load.
NWE was an operating system similar to this world’s Windows and was developed overseas. It was, however, widely pirated in Xilin.
As Lin Sheng sat down, he distanced himself from the monitor and held the mouse, clicking away at an icon on the screen.
It was an animated icon with a bluish-white starship.
That was the icon of Xilin’s most popular real-time strategy game, Star Path, a game similar to Starcraft.
Its controls were more akin to Red Alert’s, though.
It was Lin Sheng’s favorite game, thus he had joined an online clan as well. He quickly logged in, and his user ID read “7FootGiant” .
Once the super-futuristic sci-fi loading screen appeared, a notification sound started to pop out from the “friends” panel on the lower right screen.
DuskStar: “You there?”
DuskStar: “Let’s play!”
DuskStar: “Anyone home?”
DuskStar: “Not online again?”
Skyfall Leaf: “7Foot, you there?”
RoyalHatred: “Bloody hell, I lost again. 7Foot, if you don’t come online, our clan’s gonna get wrecked!”
DuskStar: “Those Bronzeforge guys are just too much. 7Foot, let me know when you come online. We’re just short of you!”
DuskStar: “Why aren’t you on yet?”
Lin Sheng looked at the timestamp. It was two days ago.
Since his skills were decent, he was one of the core players in his clan.
Sadly, ever since the nightmare came to him, he had to focus on the dream realm, and he had not played for a long time.
Even if he visited an Internet café, it was mostly to check on information related to the dream or swordsmanship.
A sudden notification prompt rang.
DuskStar: “You’re finally on. Let’s wreck some scrubs!”
Lin Sheng was surprised. That person was the most active player in their online group, almost fanatical. In fact, once he started, he could play from dawn to dusk.
“Alright, let’s team-up,” Lin Sheng replied.
The two quickly formed a team and started to hail for the rest, but none were online.
Soon, the game started. Their opponent was selected at random.
Even though Lin Sheng had not played for a while now, the game relied more on APM and strategic or tactical skills, which was similar to fighting games.
Therefore, his skills had not regressed much, and they started their winning streak.
They easily defeated the first pair of foes, not taking more than twenty minutes.
The second and third rounds followed…
And after about an hour, Lin Sheng was bored. He then set up the “Away” sign.
DuskStar: “What’s wrong? Aren’t you on holiday today?”
7FootGiant: “I have something to do, stopping now.”
DuskStar: “What’s so important? Let’s play!”
7FootGiant: “I really have something to do, and I’m pretty busy at home too, so I don’t have much time to play.”
DuskStar: “Even Crown isn’t as busy as you. Aren’t you a student? What are you busy with?”
7FootGiant: “I have something to settle.”
DuskStar: “Oh yeah, Crown said he’s passing by Huaisha soon, how about we arrange a meetup for the players here. I’ll book the whole place!”
Lin Sheng smiled at the screen.
He had mentioned in the group that he was a poor student without a lot of pocket money, hence why he was not online much. Meanwhile, DuskStar seemed to be at least well to do with no need to care for internet charges.
Now that he talked about booking the whole place, it was clear that he was not short of money.
Lin Sheng smiled as he responded.
“Anything. Let’s see what everyone says.”
DuskStar started to grumble again, and the two played another round before Lin Sheng went offline.
After he quit the game, he clicked on the search engine and entered Huaisha City’s local forum to check if there were any new posts.
Very quickly, a post that went up two hours ago appeared in his line of sight.
“A robbery-cum-murder case in Blackwater District, south of the city… It’s live!”
Lin Sheng squinted and quickly clicked on it.
The post was made by someone called Windtalker, and the original post had a picture of the crime scene.
It looked like a room on an incomplete construction site.
And the floor was covered in blood while the wall was scrawled with “Do you love me?”
Lin Sheng narrowed his eyes, and he quickly looked at the posts that followed.
“It’s that godforsaken place again. A few cases have already spawned from that sh*thole, yet there are still people who refuse to listen, and daringly go over to play! Fools!”
“It was a guy the last time. He was killed after he was robbed as well. It’s just so gruesome.”
“Not only that, a pair of lovers had also disappeared over there. A room full of blood was all that was left.”
“Have the police gone over already?”
“Many times, but it’s useless. The killer left nothing behind.”
Lin Sheng quietly read through the postings and demurred.
Huaisha was not a big city, but it was also not small. He had actually heard of many such unsolved cases already.
The police had been trying to investigate, but they always came to a dead end. At most, they would pick a random fool and pin the crime on him to close the case.
However, anyone with half a brain could tell that they were just obfuscating the public.
He had not paid any attention to it before and treated it as a gossip topic over tea. Now that he thought of it, something was not right.
There were just too many cases in which the police could not do anything.
He then went on to check other posts and found that there was another sealed room murder case that was unresolved.
After he closed the forum site, he proceeded to look at the current news: Xilin and Redwin were still at each other’s throats.
They continued to trade verbal barbs as they deployed their troops at the border. It seemed like war could break out at any time.
In reality, however, this situation had already lasted over a year. At first, everyone was rather anxious, but as time passed, they got used to it.
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