48 Hours a Day
Chapter 327 - Recurring Slaughter
Chapter 327 Recurring Slaughter
Even though the old man in the Tang suit had already alluded it all, Zhang Heng did not expect to encounter another supernatural event so quickly after the train incident. Those things had been operating in the dark in the real world even before the game existed.
But one thing was for sure. Even if supernatural events did happen then, they weren’t as frequent as now. Also, since the players were taking out a large number of game items, more “unexpected” situations would take place. Zhang Heng frowned. This was not the first game, so it was implausible that the organizing committee were oblivious about the consequences of doing so, or perhaps it was what they intended?
Zhang Heng stopped himself from overthinking. There was no point as of now, seeing how he couldn’t confirm anything anyway. So, he decided to focus on the matter at hand.
Old Chen and Zhang Heng’s grandfather shared a pretty amicable friendship. They were both colleagues, then neighbors for many years after their retirement. During the school holidays, Tian Tian used to follow Old Chen around like a puppy. Had Zhang Heng not known her, he would have just disregarded it, but since he knew her, it was very difficult not to care.
To solve the problem, he would need to first get to its roots, and the best place to start was obviously Tian Tian. Zhang Heng had to find a way to understand what he was really dealing with before he could decide what to do next.
Before that, though, Zhang Heng made a detour and stopped at an internet café. He visited the new website using the URL Ding Si had provided. Zhang Heng was surprised to find that the forum had many visitors, though most of the traffic was on the message board. This was only the launching day of the forum, yet many were already flaunting their prowess, tirelessly posting tawdry comments like ‘bump, sofa, floor, ceiling’ under every post
Some even took the opportunity to post long but pointless comments. In one post, a person yelled, “I’m about to ascend to heaven, and I would like to ask all my fellow comrades to lend me a helping hand!”
Some people had queued under a certain post with a tacit understanding, playing the role of a broken record – repeating and regurgitating everything that others said.
There was also an infinite idiom solitaire post.
Birds of the same feather flocked together, apparently, and it was human nature to naturally bond with those who had the same aspirations.
The total number of players wasn’t small, but in comparison to the throngs of ordinary folk, they were the minority. Those who were outside the player circle would probably find it difficult to understand the harsh challenges they had to face each day. Players had to keep finding ways to employ their talents, abilities, game items, and skills to complete one quest after another. On the one hand, these players got to enjoy the rich experiences that nobody else could get. On the other, they constantly faced all kinds of danger, some even life-threatening.
Whatever the players witnessed and experienced couldn’t be shared with non-players as well, and therefore, in one way or another, they were actually very lonely. Those who had a team had it better. If a single player like Zhang Heng were to be psychologically unstable, he would have lost his mind a long time ago in the quests. But come what may, it was always good to have a place that served as a reminder that they were not alone.
Other than the mess of useless posts, Zhang Heng did find some useful things on the website. One of the top posts was an announcement by the three major guilds, stating that they were looking for information relating to ‘Dreamland of Death’ and the mysterious woman who appeared at the auction.
The article also mentioned the incident on the train. In fact, Zhang Heng would later find similar reports in the newspapers. After the petrified middle-aged sales executive was sent to the hospital for a thorough examination, he was found to be perfectly healthy. An hour later, however, his blood pressure suddenly soared, causing the capillaries in the brain to rupture. It increased pressure on his brain tissue, which eventually caused cerebral edema to develop. The hospital performed an emergency surgery but alas, they were unable to save his life.
For this reason, the newspapers interviewed several medical experts to discuss the matter and investigate the cause. This was one of the most searched topics on the internet, and experts appealed for the public to be vigilant of the risk of a cerebral hemorrhage, which could also be the result of overworking. However, Zhang Heng was alarmed, discovering that this wasn’t the only incident that had taken place within the same period.
In fact, just last week, a similar thing had happened to six or seven people. When it took place, the victims all asleep in bed, and families only found out about their deaths the next morning. The circumstance in which the incidents occurred wasn’t too compelling and were treated as sudden death due to cerebral hemorrhage.
As a matter of fact, the episode on the train should be an exception. The perpetrator obviously did not want to attract public attention. Zhang Heng was now certain that that one of the conditions of triggering Dreamland of Death was that the target had to be sleeping. From the sales rep’s phone conversation, Zhang Heng could deduce that the man’s trip on the train was unplanned. It was apparently due to a work issue that he had to speak to the customer in person. Much to his annoyance, however, the customer canceled the order and didn’t show up.
The middle-aged man was devastated at that time, and after hanging up the call, he had nothing to do and fell asleep on the train. In order words, him boarding the train and falling asleep were probably unanticipated. Under normal circumstances, he should have returned home before falling asleep. That way, he would have been like the other seven, dying on his own bed, quietly and peacefully before being diagnosed with cerebral hemorrhage. Now, instead, the incident had ended up all over the news.
It was obvious that the three major guilds took this matter extremely seriously. This was about two months since the reappearance of Dreamland of Death, and unlike before, the erratic killing pattern began as soon as it appeared.
Because the person in possession of the Dreamland of Death had already gone through a round of killings before, most players believed that although it was a Grade-B item, it probably had only a few uses left in it. But now, it seemed that wasn’t the case. This time around, the pool of victims was rather peculiar.
All seven victims were from all over China, from Yunnan to Shanghai, and there was even a case where two people who were more than a thousand miles apart died the same way on the same day. The comments that followed the posts were discussions about the phenomenal trajectory of the new owner of the game item.
What was it? A killing expedition?
This time, however, because there were no prominent victims like Silver Wing’s guild leader, the panic wasn’t as widespread or as intense. Even so, the three major guilds, all up against a common enemy, had already dispatched personnel to investigate the connection between the victims.
At the same time, they also urged the players to actively provide information, should they have any, and promised a reward of game points based on the value of the intelligence they received