In Virtual Reality
In Virtual Reality 19 ☆ Death Notice (3/25)
Updated: 3 hours ago
Xu Jin Yi said 'dear schoolmate,' with a hint of mischief as she watched Shen Jia's pupils shake in fear.
But to her disappointment, the other party remained silent, not uttering a single word.
Though not entirely surprising, Xu Jin Yi still felt disappointed.
Rising to her feet, she brushed the dust off her clothes and returned the black pen to Shen Jia.
The other party took the pen without a word, leading Xu Jin Yi to suspect that she might have encountered a glitch in the game again.
senior,” Shen Jia finally spoke up, his pupils shaking as Xu Jin Yi prepared to walk away.
“Are you coming back to the canteen in the evening?” Xu Jin Yi rubbed her chin as she pondered the question.
She had arrived at the canteen by chance on her first day at the university when she didn't have her [Campus One Card] and was almost mistaken for a fresh ingredient by the butcher.
Xu Jin Yi had made a misstep in the VR version.
In the PC version, she had to follow proper procedure and submit a leave of absence to her teacher before obtaining a campus pass.
However, in the VR version, she had taken a different route and bypassed this step, not meeting her teacher yet.
Fortunately, the [Leave of Absence] proved to be a useful tool.
By waving the paper with the official seal of the President of Dark Virtue University in front of the butcher, Xu Jin Yi navigated the situation smoothly.
The “school canteen quality investigation incident” directly resulted from Xu Jin Yi's inability to let go of her anger at being treated like a mere chicken and lifted up by her legs to be butchered.
She was known for holding grudges and not letting go of past slights.
“Join me, won't you?” Xu Jin Yi declared passionately.
“As a responsible junior student at Dark Virtue University, it's my duty to ensure that the school canteen maintains its quality and that our fellow students' rights and interests are protected.
That's why I must continuously keep a watchful eye on the canteen.”
Shen Jia breathed a sigh of relief.
“Very well,” Shen Jia agreed, “I'll see you this afternoon then, junior.
I'm off to my dormitory now.”
As for the identity of the mysterious individual known as “Silence”, Shen Jia felt it was imperative to inform the rest of their group.
He and his fellow classmates had formed a student group on the Penguin upon their admission to Dark Virtue University, gathering all the living students who had found themselves trapped in this strange place.
[?37 people online].
[Shen Jia]: [I just had a peculiar encounter in the canteen.
I came across a junior who I initially assumed was one of us, a student who was unjustly forced into this place.
But to my surprise, he revealed that he was previously a junior at Yinde University.]
[Shen Jia]: [ A individual wearing the pink hoodie, who goes by the name “Silent,” caused quite a stir in the cafeteria today.
They got into a heated argument with the cafeteria manager over allegations of substandard hygiene.
Despite this, they remain determined to rectify the situation.
This evening, they will be present in the canteen during dinner, offering a chance for us to uncover more information and potentially find better food options.]
[Shen Jia]: [..?]
[Shen Jia]: […
Why is nobody responding?]
[Xu Qin]: [Shen Jia, Yang Jia Ni (杨佳妮) is gone.]
Yang Jia Ni?
Shen Jia was taken aback as the memory of her flooded back to him.
She was a female student from the Literature Department who, like him, was a junior before entering Dark Virtue University.
However, as a newly admitted freshman, Yang Jia Ni had been assigned to the Art System Sports major.
In the early days of joining the group, Yang Jia Ni often voiced her complaints to the others.
As a student in the Literature Department who had been unexpectedly assigned to the Art System Sports major, her physical fitness was lacking compared to the professional sports students in her class.
Despite the challenges posed by the regular physical tests as part of her teaching duties, she had been putting in the effort to exercise, which allowed her to barely pass the tests.
But what was the reason behind the silence this time? Unlike Shen Jia, who was in the dark, the rest of the group was aware of Yang Jia Ni's passing.
As the chat group remained silent, Shen Jia pondered for a moment before deciding to seek out Xu Qin for a private conversation to gain more insight.
[Shen Jia]: [Xu Qin, what exactly happened?]
[Xu Qin]: […It's not that I don't want to talk to you, but the image is really too disgusting to describe.]
[Xu Qin]: [Yang Jia Ni had track and field class today as part of her PE course, and at the end of the period, the teacher used a quiz as a regular score.
Unfortunately, Yang Jia Ni failed and was singled out by the so-called “PE teacher” as failing the class, only to be reduced to a pile of mush.]
The black pupils in Shen Jia's eyes tightened as he gazed at the message on his phone in disbelief.
[Shen Jia]: […No body?]
[Xu Qin]: [Like Zhou Xiao Han, melted into the ground.]
As he stood there, trying to steady his breathing, the reality of their situation hit him.
Of the fifty students who had started at Dark Virtue University, only thirty-seven remained.
The thought of the others being turned into meat mush made him feel ill.
He leaned over the sink, gripping the edges tightly as a wave of nausea washed over him.
Desperate to shake the feeling, he splashed his face with cold water from the tap, allowing the chill to calm his shivering body.
In reality, Shen Jia was far from the serene demeanour he portrayed as he grappled with the decision to seek an end in the canteen or answers from an enigmatic senior.
The fear of death and watching those closest to him crumble haunted him.
He couldn't help but think if it weren't for the fateful [Admission Notice], he could have been safely ensconced in his internship program by now.
Yet, he reminded himself to stay calm.
He took a deep breath and gently patted his cheek, “You'll survive, no matter what happens.
You have to.”
Meanwhile, in the 502 dormitories of building 2 for girls, a sombre atmosphere hung over the small group of inhabitants as they sat in silence, each lost in their own thoughts.
Breaking the stillness, a short-haired girl spoke with a mournful expression, “What are we going to do now? Without Xiao Han, we can't even venture into 503 if we wanted to.”
The tall, thin girl with the ponytail sighed, her brown-black eyes clouded with despair despite her seemingly composed exterior.
“And forget about 503.
The other dorms won't even share their food with us, even if they have any,” she added with a heavy heart.
“Ah Ma (阿马) is right,” the shorter girl muttered as she scrolled through the chat logs on her phone, her tone tense.
“It's been two months since school started, and we all know what college students are like these days.
We don't stock up on convenience food for more than a month; if we're lucky, we might have enough for three months.
Nobody could buy anything extra until their living expenses come in next month.”
The short-haired girl's anxiety grew, “Surely, as students in the same school, they wouldn't let us starve to death, would they?”
However, the last housemate, Cao Ya (曹雅), sitting back in her chair, finally chimed in with a more sombre perspective.
“Do you really think we're in a normal university? After being here for over two months and not receiving any rescue, it's highly unlikely that we'll be able to escape.
It's time to accept the reality of our situation.”
The last housemate's words hung heavy in the air as the reality of their situation settled in.
She sighed deeply, her head leaning back against the chair as she gazed at her dorm mates.
“We're no longer living in the short-term,” she said, “We need to prepare for a long-term battle.
At first, everyone thought we'd only be here for a week or so, and supplies were shared freely, but it's been two months now, and the obvious supplies are almost gone.
If we keep sharing, we'll eventually succumb to starvation.”
The pony-tailed girl, serving as the dorm leader, nodded as she quickly gathered the attention of her fellow residents.
“Ladies,” she began, “We haven't bought any pots or pans since freshman year.
We were limited to instant meals that could be prepared with the hot water from the corridor.
But a month ago, we were reduced to relying on four water bottles, and now we have no food left.”
“Can humans digest a hot water bottle by gnawing on it?” The short-haired girl laughed bitterly.
“I fear that my hunger will drive me to such delirium that I'll end up gnawing on my teacher during class.”
Roommate: “Clearly, you're the next chemistry prodigy.”
Despite the joke made in 502, the atmosphere remained tense.
The reality of their situation was too unbelievable to accept.
They were facing starvation in this new era, a dire food shortage threatening their existence.
The prospect of never returning to a normal life loomed over them, forcing them to face the possibility of spending the rest of their lives in this new world.
In the silence, a crisp slap echoed through the room.
The other three froze, confused, as they turned their gaze towards the short-haired girl who had just slapped herself.
Had this individual gone mad so suddenly? The short-haired girl's face was twisted in a mixture of tears and laughter.
“I just had the sudden, absurd thought that it would be funny if we were seventy years old and still going to class, shouting hello to our teacher,” she said with a bitter chuckle.
The housemate, slumped in her chair, suddenly rose and raised her right hand expressionlessly.
“I'll help you sober up, too,” she said stoically.
What kind of dedication to humour was this? This was no time for hellish jokes!
“Calm down, calm down!” Ah Ma, the head of the dormitory, helplessly interjected to stop the two from starting a dorm room brawl.
She shook her phone and gestured to the other housemates, “Take a look at the message Shen Jia just sent.”
The two people about to engage in a vegetable and chicken battle quickly retreated and reached for their phones to join scrolling.
“This…” The short-haired girl scrolled through the records, her voice trailing into stunned stammers.
“This Shen Jia is a brave cow.
How dare he venture to the canteen and risk becoming a dish?” she finally exclaimed, her tone both impressive and incredulous.
“What a generous and fearless man with a tragic fate.” The choaked housemate, Cao Ya, grunted.
She then looked towards Ah Ma and asked, “Housemate, what is your opinion?”
It was clear that she had something in mind when she spoke.
As expected, Ah Ma took a moment to contemplate before stating, “We cannot continue to rely on other dorms for handouts.
Human debt is growing larger and larger, making our approach too passive.” Others nodded, acknowledging the truth in Ah Ma's words.
“Who has no classes this afternoon?”
The short-haired girl replied, “I have three straight periods of English class in the afternoon, ending no earlier than five minutes after five.”
Cao Ya added, “I have four open periods for Civics class in the afternoon, followed by an evening study.”
The shorter girl raised her hand, “I'll go.
I have no class this afternoon; I'm in the Chinese Language.”
Ah Ma nodded and shook her head once more.
“Wait for me to join you.
I only have two classes this afternoon; I'll be off at 4:10.
We'll go to the canteen together,”
The short-haired girl added, “Ah Ma, if anything happens, you can call Cao Ya and me using our mobile phones.
I'll sneak out of class to save you even if I'm in class!”
Ah Ma became emotional, “It's not that serious.
I'll reach out to Shen Jia and see if we can go together.”
Cao Ya, who had been choking the short-haired girl, nodded in agreement.
“Going together and looking out for one another is always advantageous.
I have heard about him.
Although he wasn't a fellow major student, friends had spoken highly of him, describing him as a kind and gentle individual.”
“Fingers crossed, our excursion to the canteen will bring us some much-needed positive news.”
——— Translator's Notes ———
阿马: ā = prefix used before monosyllabic names, kinship terms etc to indicate familiarity / used in transliteration [TN: I used Ah instead of single A, otherwise all my grammar correctors will be screaming at me]; mǎ = horse / CL: 匹 / horse or cavalry piece in Chinese chess / knight in Western chess
曹雅: Cao = class or grade / generation / plaintiff and defendant (old) / government department (old) , Ya = elegant
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