He remembered. Her name was Lin Lin.
[Perhaps this is the clue!]
Jiang Chen suddenly opened his eyes and quickly took out the terminal, and then connected to the hospital network.
"Dammit," Jiang Chen cursed. He cautiously climbed out of the front counter and peeked behind the table.
Night zombies were very dangerous in that even the smallest noise would draw their attention. Fortunately, their sense of smell was nowhere as sharp; even if it wasn't, their stench was overwhelming enough that they probably wouldn't be able smell anything. The only thing he needed to be careful of was being spotted by them. Shadows wouldn't cause a lot of visual obstruction on them.
Zombies also had poor balance especially the freshly mutated ones. In this case, the stairs in front of the hospital would be an obstruction for the zombies outside, as long as one didn't make too much noise...
There were only two zombies in the hall. They were probably drawn to the gunfire and wandered off from the hallway. Jiang Chen clenched the safety hammer in his hand and carefully sneaked behind a zombie and struck his hammer mercilessly at its head.
Blood splattered everywhere. Jiang Chen took another swing before the other zombies slowly turned around.
He lifted the hammer as he quickly ran to the direction of the reception.
A hammer was struck at the nurse on duty who lunged at Jiang Chen. He quickly shut the door behind him and dragged the cabinet to barricade the door of the reception room.
The sound from the door creaking and his movements certainly alerted the attention of the wandering zombies on the first floor. At that moment however, Jiang Chen didn't pay heed to it and ignored the sound of someone hitting the door. He then turned the computer on in the reception room and used the terminal connected to the hospital intranet to search for the name .
"Goddammit, don't let me down." Jiang Chen waited anxiously for the bar to load and prayed that the power wouldn't be suddenly cut off at this time.
Although there are backup generators in the hospital, he didn't want to take the risk of searching for its switch. Regardless of how strong his body and breakthroughs were, his stamina was still limited. Facing against zombies in the entire building was just unrealistic.
Jiang Chen excitedly rushed in front of the computer.
<3rd floor,="" room="" 103,="" bed="" 01="">
Sure enough, the girl was a key character and he was lucky to get her name.
Jiang Chen hastily pulled out the holographic image of the hospital and confirmed its location. However, just as he was about to break through the door, something unexpected happened.
The entire hospital was blanketed in darkness and even the faint lights went out, which made him completely blind.
However, zombies have night vision.
[Dammit,] Jiang Chen cursed in his mind as he glanced at his still bleeding left arm. However, there was no medical supply in the reception room.
He was running out of time. If he couldn't make it on time, he would have to do it all over again.
While taking a deep breath, he opened the drawers.
Notebook, pen, tape, paper towel…flashlight!
He quickly unrolled the paper towel and haphazardly wrapped it around his wound with tape to stop the bleeding.
Since this was a game, he didn't give it more thought whether it was hygienic or not.
He found a paper-thin phone on the body of the nurse and set it up to alarm in 10 seconds, and then threw it out the window of the reception room.
The loud alarm undoubtedly attracted all the attention of the zombies as they rushed madly to the location of the phone.
Jiang Chen seized this opportunity to run out of the room. The alarm wouldn't keep the zombies' attention for long. Once the zombies realized it was not breathing, they would start ignoring it.
The hallway was pitch black and it was a good thing Jiang Chen had a flashlight he could use. At any rate, the zombies could even see in the dark so there was no point hiding in the dark, thus he kept the light on while dashing frantically to the stairs.
There were two zombies on top of the stairs and after discovering him, they lunged at him.
However, due to the asymmetry of the steps, the zombies fell on their own after going down stairs.
Jiang Chen went up and brandished his hammer twice and then continued to go up without turning back.
It was more crowded on the second floor, so naturally, the mutant zombie population here was denser. The zombies in the hallway were alerted by the noise but still met with the obstacle at the stairs. The hungry horde flocked around his direction and rabidly move forward, and just like what he expected, they all tripped at the last step and stumbled down.
Jiang Chen's scalp went numb while looking at the horde of zombies behind him. He gritted his teeth and continued his way to the third floor.
Luckily, there were fewer zombies on the third floor. After clobbering four zombies with the safety hammer, he successfully made it to Room 103.
He broke the door open without hesitation and secured the door behind him with a safety hammer inserted between the door handle.
Jiang Chen leaned against the door for a little while to ensure that the zombies couldn't open the door before he backed away from the door little by little.
That' when he noticed a pair of eyes watching him.
It was from a frail figure leaning against the window. The girl was quietly observing him with her hands casually tucked into a large white coat, giving off an unseemly and silly impression.
And that look.
How to describe that look? The look was quite subtle.
It's as though she was looking at a bug.
"Eh—you even came here." The girl glanced at Jiang Chen indifferently and sighed.
"Are you Lin Lin?" Jiang Chen took a deep breath and then asked tentatively.
He wanted to know how to leave the game, but he wasn't sure which side the girl was on. Was she on the artificial intelligence's side? Or she didn't want to help either side?
"That's right, and?" Lin Lin prompted impatiently.
With a wry smile, Jiang Chen took a few steps forward and tried to close their distance to show his friendly intention...
"STOP! Who said you can come closer?" Jiang Chen hadn't even taken a few steps before a disdained looked appeared on Lin Lin's face. She gave him a ferocious look and cursed under her breath, "Low life."
Jiang Chen was prepared to talk nicely, but her words immediately infuriated him.
"What, what are you doing?"
She was unable to keep the fear from her voice when she saw Jiang Chen approaching her with an unpleasant look.
Seeing her frightened look, Jiang Chen couldn't help the wicked grin forming on his face.
"Me? Of course, I want to—"
The door was knocked down violently, and a metallic screeching sounded through the door.
Yao Tingting's entire body was covered in blood and there was a bloodcurdling chainsaw in her hands. She wore a blank yet crazed look.
Smoke floated from the muzzle as the bullet penetrated her head without resistance.
Jiang Chen's was holding a gun and had a perplexed complexion as he stared at the pale but hollow eyes.
"Oh? That girl is your lover, isn't she? Hehe, you're pretty cruel—" The voice full of contempt suddenly halted because of the gun pointing at her temple.
Looking at the pair of cold eyes, she couldn't continue with her act of haughtiness anymore.
"Ha-haha," Lin Lin forced out a laugh. Her expression was rigid and her eyes wavered between the gun and Jiang Chen's eyes, "This is just a virtual world. So what if you kill me."
Looking at Lin Lin's act of bravado, Jiang Chen burst out laughing.
"It is indeed useless. But the pain doesn't disappear, does it? Tell you what, memory reset no longer works on me, so you have two choices right now: help me leave this place, or I'll kill you with the cruelest method I know and kill myself, then I'll come after your again. This is just a game, isn't that right? It won't matter if this is repeated a thousand times, will it?" Jiang Chen's face turned grimmer and grimmer.
Since she acted like she didn't want to say anything, he had to resort to coercion.
"You, you devil! You, you can't r*pe me!" Lin Lin screamed hysterically while covering her head and retreating backwards.
Jiang Chen froze.
"Huh?" [Did I say that I'm going to r*pe you?]
"You must be r*ping me with your eyes right now! And you must be thinking of using your big *** to *** my *** and see me disgraced, and then insult me while wearing your evil smile, right! Wooo—" Lin Lin's face was full of shame, and she was staring at him with teary eyes. Both of her hands covered her shoulder while she shrunk back.
Jiang Chen was utterly dumbfounded, and after a long while, he cursed out.
"No—" Lin Lin timidly raised her hands up and retreated more before she was startled by his sudden outburst.
[What kind of imagination is this…]
Jiang Chen's expression went rigid and his mouth twitched.
He stepped forward and reached out to hold her chin up, put on the most vicious look he could think of and stared into the pair of frightened eyes.
"I'm not going to waste any more time with you. Tell me how to get out of here now!"
"You, you can't beat it, so what good it would be if you're able to leave! It's a demon! It will force you to go back to the game—" Jiang Chen's malevolent words had broken down her mental fortitude, and she hysterically screamed out.
"You don't have to worry about it. I naturally have my ways." Jiang Chen eyes narrowed.
"So what if you leave? I know exactly what the outside world is like right now." Lin Lin shivered, but she managed to muster enough courage to raise her head. "What's wrong with staying here?"
"It's not good however you look at it." Jiang Chen looked at her in surprise and laughed. "Are you really willing to be manipulated by a program? To be manipulated repeatedly for a thousand times?"
"You brought that upon yourself! I'm sure you're already aware that any starting point in the game is considered as Safe Zone. If you don't go out, it will not trigger any plot, then it won't be able to do anything to you! Do you understand? This is the biggest bug of the game, and as long as you break through the barrier in your memory, you can continue to stay—"
"You said you stayed in the room the entire time?" Jiang Chen interrupted her.
Lin Lin gave Jiang Chen a contemptuous look, and then fearfully glanced at the gun in his hand.
"That's right, as long as I don't go out and continue to play the 'girl in the ward', it won't trigger any plot to advance. Hehe, do you understand now? The artificial intelligence can't do anything to you. Although there is a dumba*s lying outside the door but as long as you don't leave, she wouldn't be able to enter this room! This is the setting and it can't be changed!"
She noticed that Jiang Chen was looking at him with a peculiar expression.
"What, what do you want…"
That look made her feel sick. She felt instinctual fear towards the man.
"I feel sorry for you."
But she was mistaken. It was a look of pity and not of a wicked intention she had initially thought.
"Ah?" This time, it was Lin Lin's time to be surprised. Her mouth was skew as she blankly looked at Jiang Chen who put the gun down.
"How many weeks had it been?"
"Nth cycle, who would remember these things?" Lin Lin muttered.
"If I hadn't guessed incorrectly, you wouldn't have died in the pod, right? So in the real world, you've probably spent 20 years, and if we convert that into game time, 200 thousand years? 200 million years? You've stayed in this cramped, little room?" Jiang Chen gave the room a once-over.
"It's no big deal. I selectively follow the rules of the game and reset part of my memories," Lin Lin mumbled and bowed her head before looking away reluctantly. "So you, inferior creature, are so troublesome that you can't even bear it for a few days..."
"A few days" were obviously referring to the time in real world.
To Lin Lin's surprise, when he heard the words "inferior creature", he didn't reveal an angry expression, but instead stared into her eyes for a long time before sighing and then talked about things not related to this world.
"The outside is in shambles right now, the rural areas are better. The entire downtown is like a huge reactor. I haven't been to the coastline, so the situation there is not clear. The entire Wanghai City—no, to be precise—the entire world is like this."
"Hehe, that's really a pity so I say, why don't you—"
Jiang Chen gazed at her with a look full of meaning and interrupted her then continued talking to himself, "But people are still trying their best to survive even when the war left the world in shambles. Despite of the elites betraying their responsibilities to board the spacecraft in hope of going to the stars, the people who were left behind haven't given up on this world yet. They are truly living, no one day is the same, no one day is false—"
"Why are you telling me this?" Lin Lin interrupted him, her eyes were moving uneasily.
"Don't you want to see the outside?"
[Don't you want to see the outside?]
Lin Lin felt her heart fractured as her widened eyes averted his eyes.
"…That's impossible, do you really think the secret protector would allow you leave the game?" Although the mocking tone was still there, it no longer had its previous willful tone.
"I'll deal with it. Do you trust me?" Jiang Chen tried to make himself sound cordial. He could vaguely sense that although the girl had confined herself inside this ward to run away from everything, had a bad temper and was slightly mental, but in the end, she was still just a girl.
[Therefore, there's still a possibility of tricking her…ahem, possibility of persuading her.]
Lin Lin's eyes looked conflicted, and it was apparent that she was fed up with the endless cycle.
"I, I am afraid of pain. If you fail, that damn artificial intelligence may implant something else in my body," Lin Lin said as she looked at him with tears in her eyes as though she had been wronged.
"You're interested, aren't you?"
"Well… Not sure—"
"Just leave everything to me. You only need to tell me how to end this game. I have 100% confidence that I can take care of that damn artificial intelligence." Jiang Chen held Lin Lin's shoulder with both hands and stared earnestly into her eyes while continuing to exert pressure on her.
He couldn't back down now. If he showed the slightest hesitation, it would frighten the "turtle" that finally stuck her head out after all this trouble.
[Well, although it might not be appropriate to describe this girl like a turtle, that's the main point.]
After struggling to make a decision, Lin Lin timidly asked, "120%?"
"Absolutely! 120%!" Jiang Chen nodded patiently and answered with certainty.
Seeing the confidence in his expression, Lin Lin finally decided to talk, and a faint red color could be seen on her pale face.
Finally, she made up her mind.
"In the hospital's underground parking lot, there's a switch is next to the emergency fire button of 005 parking spot. That's the entrance to the 005 survival base and the 'console' of the entire game… But it appears that you don't have a lot of time left." After completing her sentence, Lin Lin looked at the clock on the wall with a complex expression.
"Huh?" Jiang Chen was flabbergasted then looked backward.
"On the first day, the secret teller can't reset the game, but on the second day, it will be able to reset the game," Lin Lin said reluctantly.
Jiang Chen was enraged by her dilly-dallying.