48 Hours a Day

Chapter 290 - Extensive Preparation Time

Chapter 290 Extensive Preparation Time

It was said that in one second, a cheetah could sprint as far as 28 meters on the grassland, a hummingbird could flap its wings 55 times, 1,620 cubic meters of Greenland’s glaciers would melt, and the earth would orbit the sun 29.8 kilometers.

Yin Xiong, however, wondered if a person’s character could change so significantly in one second. Blinking, in fact, might have taken even less than that.

If Zhang Heng had that dangerous quality about him, then it must have dimmed so significantly that it was almost imperceptible now.

Yin Xiong couldn’t help but wonder if there was something wrong with her eyes.

But things such as a person’s temperament were discerned purely by perception and were difficult to quantify. Things like these mystified her, and she didn’t have an explanation for it.

Then, later, during training, Zhang Heng didn’t look at the clock again, and with the help of the trainer, he successfully completed his first spacesuit training. Throughout the whole process, he was very calm. No one knew he had just spent 240 days in the 1950’s United States. When Zhang Heng opened his character panel after the training, he could see a number of changes made to his profile.

Name: Zhang Heng

Gender: Male

Age: 19

Player ID: 07958 Rounds played: 4

Current game points: 737

Possessions: Paris Arrow (D), Evil Wall (D),

Shadow Key (E), Lucky Rabbit’s Foot (E), Betty’s Shell (E), Hunter’s Blessing (F)

Skills mastered: Sailing (level 3), Saber (level 3), Language Proficiency (level 2; eight languages at a basic level), Archery (level 2), Wilderness Survival (level 2), Driving (level 2), Shooting (level 2), Engineering (level 1), Flying (level 1), Piano (level 1), Car Tuning and Repair (level 2), Ski (level 1), Rock Climbing (level 1).

Evaluation:

The player has slightly better luck than most and a higher chance of encountering enemies. Player is protected from shadows, storms, evil intentions, and is an experienced sailor. Skilled with knives, arrows, firearms, can drive and fly a plane. He is capable of surviving in the wild, has a rich reserve of skills, and considerably adept at combat. The player deserves continuous attention.

‘Shadow Moment,’ an item that had been with him for a long time and used up until the Zavilcha battle, had been replaced by ‘Evil Wall’ and ‘Betty’s Shell.’ Both of these allowed their user to escape a particular situation but also had their own limits. All in all, it was a good upgrade.

Skills were where Zhang Heng made the most progress. After being in Black Sail for 3900 days, he finally gained another level 3 skill; in fact, there were two – sailing and swordsmanship, both indispensable for a mighty pirate. With a little more training, Zhang Heng could even consider representing the country for the sailing events in Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics.

In addition to that, he spent most of his time learning language. Starting with three; English, Chinese, and Japanese, he now spoke eight. Even though it was just a drop in the ocean of human languages, eight was an extensive range, ensuring he would have fewer communication troubles in future games.

All of the above was everything Zhang Heng gained before entering the Apollo training camp. The level 1 engineering and piloting skills on the character panel had been obtained from the transitional quest he had just completed. On top of that, he picked up aerodynamics and material science, not displayed on the panel since they were still at level 0. He even earned an unexpected 42 game points. Moreover, thanks to his improved theoretical knowledge, his car tuning and repair skills moved up a level, which was a good thing.

Although the system inhibited him from eliminating other players during Still Time, the extensive 240 day preparation period gained him an upper hand over the rest of them. Thanks to that, no one in the training camp could surpass his score.

Of course, at the end of the day, the three people with the best result might not even be the ones to board Apollo 11.

These players, however, weren’t passive pushovers who just sit by idly. Should the game be not in their favor, they would definitely look for means to change the game’s rules.

Even Jia Lai, the one appearing to be the weakest of the group, would not sit on his hand and blindly accept his fate. Everyone, including Zhang Heng, knew this. It was only because they had just started the game that the amity was kept among each other. Once the results of the first round were revealed, this temporary peace would be broken. Their first spacesuit training ended precisely at eleven-thirty. While more engaging than physical training, the amount of exercise involved was pretty much the same. Lugging around a weight of nearly 70 pounds, each movement was a chore, requiring plenty of energy for the simplest of bends. When the players took off their spacesuits, they were drenched from head to toe in their own sweat. There was no time to freshen up, though. Given only a short break after lunch, they were quickly shoved to the next lesson: diving practice.

Space was a completely different environment from the Earth, the most obvious being gravity. Gravity was everywhere on planet Earth, and all creatures living on it could not escape its bond. So, to simulate a zero-gravity environment on earth, it was necessary to find ways to counteract its effects.

Often, the amazing fantasies of science fiction would tout some sort of covert anti-gravity technology, something that, unfortunately, didn’t exist in reality.

NASA would use a large aircraft (nicknamed the Vomit Comet) to create over ten seconds of weightlessness through a parabolic flight. This enabled the astronauts to experience an environment that was closest to space on earth. There were its quirks, however, and besides the strain the aircraft had to endure, they would have to land after every session, making the whole affair an extremely troublesome one.

Water buoyancy, on the other hand, could offset some gravity, creating a sense of weightlessness. Despite a certain degree of realism, it still differed somewhat from an actual space environment. The human body perceived gravity through the otoliths of the inner eardrums. Although one was submerged in water, the otoliths would still be subjected to gravity, meaning that being in the water would not affect a person’s ability to determine direction. In space, however, the otoliths would be affected by the lack of gravity. The astronaut’s sense of direction would be disrupted, and they wouldn’t be unable to distinguish between up and down.

But that was the best NASA could do to simulate space on terra firma.

Unlike the other players who did not look too excited, this training played on Zhang Heng’s strengths. Although he had never dived before, he experienced getting stuck on a deserted island in his first game. He had foraged for food on a desolate land and spent half his Black Sail quest at sea. Being in the water felt like his second home.

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