In Virtual Reality 21 ☆ Death Notice (5/25)

Updated: 5 hours ago



“The student council is conducting a dormitory hygiene inspection,” announced the boy at the front of room 412, his smile stiff and artificially stretched across his face.

Do you know about the Valley of Terror effect? The boy exuded an aura of inhumanity, with overly pronounced smiling muscles, deep black pupils that appeared to see nothing, and a mouth that seemed almost to be tearing his jawline apart.
He was not alone, flanked by two other student council members who appeared as if they were copied and pasted from the same mould.
Though the three figures were no taller than Xu Qin and even shorter in some cases, the leader's gaze was enough to cause Xu Qin to take a half step back.

“You don't want us to inspect your room?” asked the student council member, his movements flowing more smoothly than his ghostly companions.
His deep black pupils roamed Xu Qin's face, his piercing gaze almost slicing through his skin.
Despite the tall and strong stature of Xu Qin, he seemed to shrink under the council member's scrutiny.

“Who said that?” A sibilant voice called out from behind Xu Qin, accompanied by a hand on his shoulder.
Shen Jia had just risen from the floor and was now soothingly patting Xu Qin's shoulder.

“Be my guests, seniors,” he gestured graciously to the side of the door, offering the three student union ghosts entry.
With a firm grip, he pulled Xu Qin inside, the latter almost collapsing from weakness.

Xu Qin's legs shook as he stumbled in, his tall frame belying his lack of boldness.
The three students entered the room, their footsteps silent and stealthy, causing Xu Qin to break out in a cold sweat.

Once inside, Xu Qin wiped his forehead and let out a quiet, almost inaudible sigh of relief.
“I was scared to death,” he whispered, his voice shaky.
“I didn't hear them come by the door.”

Xu Qin didn't respond and just shook his head.
He had been skipping meals for days and was feeling the effects of hunger.
The mere act of standing up had drained him of energy, leaving him with little energy to speak.

He fervently hoped that the student council would swiftly conclude their inspection and depart, leaving him from the danger of collapsing on the dormitory floor and being deemed as trash, therefore, receiving a failing grade for “failure to clean the dormitory floor”.

Shen Jia silently didn't want to be treated like disposable trash.

Ignoring the two, the three student council members swiftly made their way to the bathroom, only to reappear ten seconds later, standing in the centre of the room and surveying the area before putting pen to paper and speaking.

“Male dormitory 3 building 412, this hygiene inspection deducted 108 points.”

Xu Qin's voice was strained as he exclaimed in disbelief, “How many?! 108 points?!” Overcoming his weakness, he stumbled forward, his tone indignant.
“Are you joking? Our dorm was cleaned just like yesterday, but yesterday we only lost 9 points.
How did we suddenly lose 108 points today?” he demanded, his voice rising in frustration.

If only the other party were a mere mortal, Xu Qin would have seized him by the neck and demanded an explanation.

The possibility of losing 108 points was daunting, for they would run out of points before the next month arrived.
Such a loss would be catastrophic and leave them with little hope for the future.

The lead ghost, with a creepy grin still plastered on its face, held a black signature pen, tapping the end of it heavily against the book.

“The choice is yours,” the ghost spoke with an ominous undercurrent, its eyes scanning back and forth between Xu Qin and Shen Jia.
“The sink still bears water stains, and the floor is not properly wiped clean…
etc, etc.
Overall, a deduction of 108 points doesn't seem too harsh, does it?”

Xu Qin tried to speak but was cut off by Shen Jia, who covered his mouth.
Standing tall and surveying the group of ghostly student council members, Shen Jia regarded them with a critical eye.

They were the same ones who came yesterday, and there would be no such thing as changing ghosts to target them.
So why was the deduction of points so outrageous?

''The choice is yours…
What choice?'

Shen Jia frowned in thought.

A silence fell over the 412 dormitories for a while.
The ghost's expression in the lead changed from teasing to impatience as it tapped the book in its hand again, its tone impatient: ''Hey, have you thought about it? If you don't say yes, we'll deduct points!” For a fleeting moment, a glimmer of an idea crossed Shen Jia's mind, causing him to pause.
He then spoke calmly, “May I ask you to hold off on the points deduction? I was curious about what the senior promised earlier.” He added in a conciliatory tone, “The seniors understand that as freshmen, we are not familiar with the ways of the university and may unintentionally cause offence.
I humbly request that the seniors provide us with a clearer explanation.” Despite his pallor, Shen Jia's tone was polite, and his demeanour faultless, earning him the respect of even the ghostly inspection team.

After a brief moment of contemplation, the lead gargoyle realized that these two inexperienced students could not comply with its request without a clear explanation.
With a sly smile, it spoke up, “Ah, it would be a token of appreciation, of course.” The ghoul's grin broadened as it continued: “I assume you've been attending classes for the past few months and have accumulated school hours, correct?” With that, it produced a blue and white card from its pocket and nonchalantly waved it in front of Shen Jia's gaze.

The blue and white card the monster was waving in front of him was a Campus One Card, and it held the key to everything.

The ghoul continued to grin, its eyes fixed on the two students, waiting for their response.
“Cut the crap,” it sneered, “either even out some credit hours or…deduct the dorm points to negative this month.” The very idea was enough to make Shen Jia's blood run cold.

Shen Jia's mind raced as he pieced together the information.
'Credit hours…classes…even them out with credit hours…' He had never heard of using the Student ID for anything other than entering the dormitory.
Now, he was learning about its other uses for keeping track of credit hours.
At Dark Virtue University, the students were unaware of the multifaceted services of their Student IDs beyond gaining entry to their dormitories, as the school had always covered the cost of all utilities.

Shen Jia was lost in thought, grappling with the conundrum at hand.
The blue-white card, symbolizing the precious credit hours, seemed to mock him with its presence.
With their ghostly grins and haunting stares, the three student union representatives waited anxiously for his decision.

In the this university of Dark Virtue, credit hours were an enigma, their true purpose still unknown to fresh-faced students.
But the hint of their potential importance was enough to make Shen Jia hesitate.

Should they surrender their credit hours and submit to the demands of the student union, or should they stand their ground and refuse? And suppose the credit hours were indeed valuable.
What if they were needed to leave the university and return to reality?

For so long, Shen Jia was lost in thought that the ghosts and monsters grew increasingly impatient, their tap of the signature pen growing louder and more insistent.

“I see that you both aren't intimidated by the possibility of having 108 points deducted, is that correct?” The ghostly figure cast a sinister gaze over Xu Qin and Shen Jia, its signature pen hovering above the register book.
With a creepy sound, the pen's tip brushed against the paper.
“The residents of the next dormitory have already handed over what was required.
We won't stop you if you want to be the exception.” The ghostly figure scrawled, “Male dormitory, Building 3, Room 412, deducted 108 points for dormitory hygiene.”

Shen Jia's eyes narrowed, and his hand shot up, “Hold on!”

The pressing issue wasn't their eventual escape from Dark Virtue University but their survival through the month.

Shen Jia mentally chided himself for his lack of focus and tried to find a way to fix the situation.

The ghost across the table let out a stiff and crazed laugh before delivering its final verdict in two words: “Too late, too late!”

“Knock~.” The sound echoed through the room, followed by a gentle rap on the half-open window.
No one in dormitory 412 seemed to have noticed the visitor.

“Late indeed,” a voice spoke from the other side of the window, and a figure came into view.
It was none other than Shen Jia's senior, who had briefly crossed paths with them earlier.
With a smile, they looked in at the two students through the frosted glass.

“Or maybe not? Look at my hand,” they said, holding up their hand resting on the windowsill.
In it was a palm-sized square that immediately caught Shen Jia's eye.

“I accidentally recorded all this.”

It was a mobile phone! Shen Jia's eyes lit up, and a wave of relief washed over him, though he couldn't quite explain why.
Apart from Shen Jia, no one else in the room, not even Xu Qin or the student union guys, knew the senior who went by Silence.

As the inspection began to tense up, Xu Qin found himself shrinking back, unable to speak out freely in the face of authority.
Meanwhile, ghostly student council members showed no such hesitation.
The leader of the group barked out, “Who are you? Are you trying to incur deductions for breaking rules by being outside your dorm room during our inspection?”


Xu Jin Yi was thoroughly impressed with her first playthrough of the Death Notice PC version.
She was amazed by the game's brilliant, weird, and incredible special effects and its unstoppable face-jumping kills that ripped off arms and legs.
However, what impressed Xu Jin Yi the most was the fact that in times of danger, the Student Council was there to offer help.
Still, in moments of peace, they became the most dangerous existence.

Although Xu Jin Yi was known to frequently exploit bugs to evade the dormitory hygiene inspections without facing the consequences from the Student Council, she was still often killed by the Student Council for her actions on the PC side.
As she encountered them in the VR world, a mix of old grudges and new frustrations came to mind.
With a practised smile, she held her phone in her left hand and her Student ID in her right.
She coolly asked, “Which department are you in again? To think the Student Council is involved in bribery – ho~ ho~.”

Student Council: “!?”

—Who just came and turned the tables on them?

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