Chapter 57: School of Death (9)
The hands began waving madly and grabbed at Yan Wei and Lin Zhen the second they emerged.
All were left hands.
Ghostly hands came in all directions, most coming towards their upper bodies and an occasional few popping up from the ground.
Outside, these hands, which appeared to be from the dead, barely protruded from the split space.
Now, they could see the entire appearance of the hands — the hands had cloth on their arms, with some sleeves still intact, while others were in tatters, possibly because the corpses from which the hands originated were in a miserable state.
The sleeves’ design made it evident that they belonged to the student uniform at Chenxi High School.
The entire space was white and desolate, with the hands blocking most of their vision.
They could only see at a range of about ten meters around them — there was nothing besides the phantom hands.
It was an area filled with the hands of the dead students.
The tower prompt sounded at this moment.
【You have begun the School of Death instance’s extra branch line, Space of Ghost Hands.
Due to the present difficulty imbalance, which has exceeded the level that the current instance may have, this intervention prompt has been made.】
【Space Type: Split Space, Space Origin: Unknown.】
【Please find a way to leave according to the hint, strive to survive, and obtain rewards.】
Lin Zhen took out a spherical item and threw it into the air.
A transparent ball enveloped Yan Wei and Lin Zhen, temporarily blocking the hands.
“What is this prompt Who’s supposed to be satisfied Is it me, you, or those hands Little Pet, ever since you entered, I’ve been too lazy to think.
You can think of a way.
This item is extremely ordinary and can only last one minute at max.” Lin Zhen looked around and whistled.
“Oh, this space is pretty lengthy.
It’s quite interesting.
Hey, hands, look at me, come, hold hands and give me a high-five.”
As he spoke, he stuck a hand to the ball’s surface, found an angle, and slapped an actual “high five” with an outstretched ghostly hand through the barrier.
Yan Wei ignored this mental case and immediately extended his perception to the maximum.
Yan Wei exclaimed in surprise, “Yan Mingguang!”
He even forgot that he and Yan Mingguang were connected by perception, and he subconsciously blurted out, only to realize that the other party couldn’t hear him.
Immediately turning to his mind, he said: 【Yan Mingguang】
【Are you with Yu Feizhou】
【No one is injured.】 Yan Mingguang’s voice was sullen, not as frigid as before, but with a depth that Yan Wei couldn’t comprehend.
【You can’t locate us, so don’t move.
I came in with Lin Zhen.
With the perception link, I’ll feel the distance and approach you two with Lin Zhen.】
The other party no longer spoke.
Yan Wei did not ask Yan Mingguang to respond.
Although they didn’t say anything, the first thought that popped into his mind was — Yan Mingguang knew that he would have to rely on the perception skill to find them, which was why Yan Mingguang was worried that if he said one more word, it would consume more physical strength.
“Lin Zhen, they’re only 300 meters away.
I’ll use my skill to gauge the distance, and we’ll start walking blindly.
We’re on the right track as long as we can feel them approaching.
If we sense they’re getting farther, we will change direction.
It’ll be dark outside soon, and we must complete the branch line and return to the dormitory as quickly as possible.”
Yan Wei looked around.
There was nothing except hands.
Yan Wei couldn’t discern the hint or figure out where the spontaneous familiarity came from for a while.
This kind of feeling was not pleasant.
It felt as if something heavy was pressing on his heart, but he couldn’t figure out what it was or how to get rid of it.
This inexplicable mood swing was unacceptable.
His conduct was one of logic and calmness only.
He inhaled deeply, suppressed everything wrong, pulled Lin Zhen ahead, and began pursuing Yan Mingguang and Yu Feizhou.
Lin Zhen held a bow, dozens of arrows escorting them whenever he raised his hand.
Yan Wei exuded his perception to detect the distance between them and Yan Mingguang.
He wasn’t sure if it was an illusion, but the attacks of these phantom hands seemed to be a little faster since they came.
They had no consciousness and felt no pain.
Even if Lin Zhen fought, he would only be able to leave a penetrating hole in the ghost’s hand. To eliminate it, they could only destroy the hand thoroughly.
A few moments later, Lin Zhen’s protection item disappeared from the time limit.
There were numerous ghost hands.
Even if Lin Zhen missed no arrows, he couldn’t guarantee that he would stop every one of them.
Yan Wei withstood his mysophobia and had to employ a dagger to repel a few hands that Lin Zhen didn’t block.
After passing 100 meters, he was short of breath, and a cold sweat broke out from his forehead.
Lin Zhen had no choice but to carry Yan Wei on his back.
“Be careful behind your back.
I can’t take care of all directions alone.
If you get scratched from behind, don’t shout, or I’ll go deaf—”
Yan Wei interrupted him and shouted with all his strength, “YAN MINGGUANG!!! YU FEIZHOU!”
Yan Mingguang looked back at him.
Within the brandished claws of the ghost hands1, the area where Yan Mingguang and Yu Feizhou were standing was relatively deserted.
Yu Feizhou had wounds in several places, and the blue beads in his hands gleamed slightly, while Yan Mingguang remained pristine.
Pieces of hands were under the man’s treading feet, the dagger in his hand enveloped in a thick layer of blood, and his cold and rigid outline stood out against the landscape of hands.
Turning his head towards Yan Wei, his hands moved sharply and unequivocally, and the short blade instantly pierced through a ghost hand.
The dagger rotated, eradicating the ghost hand in front of him!
Severed parts scattered all over the ground.
Lin Zhen carried Yan Wei on his back, stepped over the fragments of hands, and hurried to Yan Mingguang and Yu Feizhou’s side.
As soon as he stood steadfast, Yan Mingguang’s apathetic face shifted slightly, and the short blade in his hand was thrown to the ground as though it were useless.
He picked up Yan Wei from Lin Zhen’s back and assisted the person to his side.
Lin Zhen felt his back lighten and asked Yu Feizhou, “Looking at the pieces of hands all over the floor, you couldn’t have been standing there, killing them for that long before we came in, did you Tsk, your limbs are well developed.”
Yu Feizhou frowned.
“Why did you come Are you injured”
“To help you, ah.”
“You… It’s useless to have a large number of people here.
Yan Mingguang and I have seen nothing but hands, which are slowly becoming more aggressive, and there’s no sense of fluctuation in the space.
You should have heard the prompt when you came in.
‘Satisfy.’ I can’t think of any method related to cracking the branch line.
If it’s to satisfy these hands…” Yu Feizhou sighed.
“These hands want to kill us, but it’s unlikely they want us to pay with our lives, right What’s the point of breaking out”
—It meant there was no solution.
Yan Wei leaned against Yan Mingguang’s side.
The man’s muscular arms curled slightly around him, supporting him and allowing him to recover from exhaustion.
He took a few deep breaths, and the mysophobia he had been enduring the entire time dissipated at this moment — Yan Mingguang, who had been fighting against the hands for a long time, did not have the unpleasant odor of blood on his body.
It was the kind of scent that faded into pine trees.
As before, this man always seemed to be isolated and immaculate.
Yan Mingguang didn’t speak.
He appeared to be more silent than before.
“It’s impossible to have no solution.” Yan Wei explained, “The tower’s rule is that regardless of how disastrous things are, there will always be a possibility of survival.
It’s the tower’s default bottom line, not its benevolence, which ensures players are willing to actively clear levels.
It’s similar to Ankang Ancient Town.
There was an imbalance as a result of our presence.
The tower even adjusted the rules on its own, giving players a chance to live.
Therefore, there must be a solution to this space that appeared for unknown reasons and these hands, which are not hostile but are numerous and difficult to deal with.”
Yan Wei took a breath, and as his eyes moved, he met Yan Mingguang’s gaze.
The man was looking at him without saying a word.
Yan Wei subconsciously looked away and continued.
“Time is running out.
Let’s not go into other topics.
Because violence is not the answer, it’ll be my responsibility.
Yan, you have a wide range in melee combat.
Can you cooperate with Lin Zhen and his long-range attacks Yu Feizhou, could you tell me the information you obtained here”
Yan Mingguang nodded slightly, confirming that Yan Wei had a firm foothold before letting go.
Together with Lin Zhen, they ensured that no hands neared.
“What’s going on with this fragmented space”
Yu Feizou shook his head.
“There aren’t any clues.
Generally speaking, the distortion of time and space is only possible with high-level instances because it’s an entire complex and untouchable domain for us players just starting out.
This turbulent space appeared in nineteenth-floor instances.
My guess is that it re-condensed from the residual energy of a cracked high-level instance, so some traces of the top-floor instance lingered, resulting in this disparate split space.
After we arrived, we attempted to hit this space, but to no avail.”
Yan Wei’s brow furrowed — he knew that Yan Mingguang had done his best.
He and Yan Mingguang had already told each other their trump cards before they came in, and Yan Mingguang’s ability to attack the hands was comparable to several tenth-floor players.
If they still couldn’t make a breakthrough, then the four of them couldn’t get out simply by destroying this place.
“When Yan Mingguang and I came in, there was nothing but the fragmented hands.
They didn’t approach so densely and frantically, so we moved here.
But as we proceeded, the ghost hands became wilder and denser.
Because this was a gradual change, it took us a while to notice it.
However, it was a bit more apparent to the naked eye after you two entered.
I’m curious whether it has anything to do with the number of individuals.”
“You’re also aware of the ‘satisfy’ hint.
That is all the information we have, and we’ve found nothing else.
There are only hands here.”
Yan Wei looked around.
The surrounding ghost hands were coming towards them, even pushing each other.
The densely packed filth made Yan Wei, a clean freak, uncomfortable.
Other than that, there was nothing else.
Behind the entire space was monotonous white, hidden behind the color of blood and hands full of corpse spots, wrapped in the sleeves of school uniforms.
A single hand’s attack power was low.
If prepared, Yan Wei could deal with it alone.
But, as Yu Feizhou said, the rapidity of these things will only increase, as will the craziness of the onslaught.
They’ll be consumed if they don’t find a breakthrough.
After Yu Feizhou and Yan Wei finished talking, he seemed to believe in Yan Wei very much.
Without hesitation, he joined Yan Mingguang and Lin Zhen in maintaining an empty circle around Yan Wei.
Lin Zhen’s arrows did not miss.
During the scattering of destroyed hands, he was occasionally injured at close range.
Yu Feizhou used the blue bead prop in his hand to heal Lin Zhen’s wound in time.
Yan Mingguang’s movements were sharp and agile, not allowing the hands to approach him, and his body remained unsoiled.
But his breathing was also accelerating faintly — they were slowly consuming their physical strength.
Yan Wei stood in the middle of the three, and his eyes kept wandering.
He did not believe it.
It was only the nineteenth floor, and a space of hands that suddenly appeared could not have trapped him and Yan Mingguang to death just like that.
He slowly closed his eyes and repeatedly examined all the images in his mind.
The split space, the hands wrapped in the sleeves of the school uniform that apparently came from the corpses of students, and the accelerating situation as they came in.
The tower would not let them die here without any opportunity.
Why were these hands advancing more frantically They weren’t ghosts, just ordinary filthy things incapable of even thinking.
Therefore, for the hands to be attracted, these things typically require something that serves as a judgment condition.
It seemed reasonable to say that these things relied on the breath of the living, so the more people come in, the faster they attack.
Yan Wei’s eyes rested on a random bunch of hands not far away.
These left hands were not only on their way but were grabbing at each other mindlessly, slowing down to a certain extent.
Yan Wei stared motionlessly, and a thought slowly sprouted in his mind.
Yan Wei was abruptly pushed to the side by Yan Mingguang as the man’s chilly voice took on a hurried tone.
His eyes briefly fluttered before he realized he had been thinking too hard, and a hand nearly scratched him on the left shoulder.
Instead, he evoked a smile, tugged Yan Mingguang’s arm, and raised his voice.
“Yan Mingguang, take off your clothes!”
Yan Mingguang: “”
Lin Zhen and Yu Feizhou looked back at him at the same time.
“…” Yan Wei opened the zipper of his school uniform, “No, I mean, take off your jackets!”
Yan Mingguang didn’t ask any questions.
He withdrew this knife and removed his school uniform.
When Lin Zhen and Yu Feizhou saw this, they glanced at Yan Wei and took off their school uniform without saying much.
Yan Wei grabbed the four school uniform jackets, stuffed them into Yan Mingguang’s hands, and said, “Throw them in four directions.
The farther you throw, the better.” He turned to look at Lin Zhen.
“With your bow and arrows, clear out paths.
Try to clear them in a way that Yan Mingguang hurls the jackets farther.
Lin Zhen and Yan Mingguang did as ordered.
The moment the four school uniform jackets fell to the ground, the hands frantically surrounding the four people suddenly stopped, and in an instant, they all turned in the direction of the four jackets! They headed in those four directions indiscriminately, ignoring Yan Wei and the others.
Everyone present felt it.
The space here began to become unstable!
Lin Zhen raised his chin.
“Oh, how did you think of that”
Yan Wei loosened his clenched hands, wiped the sweat from his forehead with his cuffs, hooked his lips, and said, “Of course, I thought of it with my brain.”
Lin Zhen: “…”
“To satisfy means.” Yan Wei looked at the ghost hands tearing at school uniforms, his voice gradually becoming rational and calm.
“Satisfaction didn’t mean satisfying us, but satisfying them.
However, their goal is us — Yu Feizhou, you’re right.
It is impossible to let us die without resisting.
Then having a breakthrough would be meaningless.
So there must exist some other method that will satisfy them.”
People will always follow their subconscious thinking.
They are all players in the world inside the tower, and they have experienced more than one instance.
For this kind of ghost, a player’s first subconscious impression is that they will kill the player.
It was also why Yu Feizhou and Yan Mingguang were trapped here.
But what if this idea was scrapped entirely
In addition to life, what other things did they have that could satisfy the phantom hands It was, of course, something that made them restless, and since the hands became crazier with the increase of people coming in, there must be something other than life that each four had.
Of course, this did not exclude things that everyone has, such as body parts and organs.
But Yan Wei saw the situation of the ghost hands coming over — these mindless hands did not rush towards them all at once, and they would grab at each other.
So what if these things were not just moving disorderly because they had no mind, but because they were rushing towards what appealed to them and snatching what they desired
What can these hands have that attract other ghost hands
—School uniform sleeves.
The air currents began to fluctuate more, and the space in front of Yan Wei started tearing visibly.
After the hands ripped those school uniforms apart, they gradually stopped moving.
After Yan Wei finished his speculations, he lifted a brow, and his voice was clear and confident.
“…It’s the school uniform that attracts them to keep attacking us.
They’re no different from the other ghosts we have encountered since we entered the instance.
They want to kill the students of Chenxi High School.
And there is no school filing system, archives, or anything like that here.
Only the uniforms can be judged, so all we have to do is take off the uniforms and throw them at the hands, and they will be satisfied.”
“I wondered, why were there so many deceased, yet only one ghost in each death scenario Where did the other dead people go Where were the bodies There should’ve been a bug when the residual energy of the high-level instance condensed into a new nineteenth-floor mobile instance, which caused the left hands of the corpses to be sucked away by the separated space.
However, they continued to act according to their basic ghost instinct — murdering the students of Chenxi High School, which resulted in the current predicament.
If my guess is correct, Chenxi High School should have a number of these locations, each with different parts of the body.
But why did this odd—”
Yan Wei’s voice came to an abrupt end.
The tower prompt rang in the four people’s minds as the space became entirely fragmented.
【Congratulations to the players who successfully cracked the Space of Ghost Hands and exited safely.
Obtaining the rewards: Physical Stat 10, Sensory Stat 10, Points 20】
Lin Zhen remarked, “Hey, there are additional rewards.
This trip was worth it.”
Yan Wei didn’t say anything — the prompt in his mind hadn’t stopped.
【Congratulations to the player for discovering the Space of Ghost Hands’ major hint, identifying its underlying logic, and earning an extra reward…】
Yan Wei received the information on the tower reward.
His countenance suddenly stagnated.
A gleaming iron fragment fell before his eyes, descending on the bloodied dirt in front of him like snow falling in blood.
He subconsciously raised his hand, and the dazzling fragment gently landed on his palm with well-marked lines.
Lin Zhen cocked an eyebrow.
“What is this White chocolate”
“What fragment A bone fragment Whose bone feels so holy.”
Yan Wei’s throat knot moved slightly.
He opened his mouth and said softly, “Legendary item, a fragment of the Full Moon.