Chapter 72.1 – Preparation

The room was very quiet.

Jiang Yujin leaned over, slightly opened his eyes, and sighed, “Wow, there are quite a few people.”

He asked, “Do you guys have mosquitoes in your room?”

Xiao Pang and Zhang Xin twitched their brows, then didn’t know how to respond, so they just nodded.

Chen Jing had his Old Father Jiang come in.

There are people who are naturally able to break the awkward silence, making the surrounding air as relaxed as themselves. In the end, in a room with four people, one lay sprawled on the bed, and three were lying on the sofa table. Several high school students hadn’t slept for more than a day; their energy and stamina had been under high pressure. When they finally relaxed a bit, they fell asleep on the table like that.

It was the first time for the high school students to wake up at the same time as the adult.

When they woke up again, the sky was already bright, and the sunlight outside was dazzling. Xiao Pang rubbed his slightly sore shoulders and woke up, just in time to see the person on the bed rubbing his messy hair and sitting up.

The other person, rubbing his hair, seemed to have slept enough and looked in a good mood. He even greeted Xiao Pang with a “good morning.”

The remaining two people also woke up.

Their bodies were a bit sore, but they slept inexplicably soundly. They hadn’t felt this good mentally and physically for a long time. After waking up, Zhang Xin habitually checked the time and finally understood why they felt so refreshed.

It was already 2 o’clock in the afternoon, and even lunchtime had passed. Citizen Jiang was already accustomed to waking up after noon. He had learned about the hotel’s 24-hour meal service from the beginning and had handed the menu to the others before returning to his room with his pillow.

The four of them didn’t go downstairs; instead, they had a meal that was technically breakfast but served as lunch in Chen Jing’s room.

After dinner, Jiang Yujin asked, “Have you completed your investigation assignment?”

“Completed,” Xiao Pang said, “We can go back anytime.”

Jiang Yujin immediately booked a flight for the evening. There was no urgent matter, mainly someone had invited him to play mahjong.

There were still many things to do, and the high school students were actually eager to return, especially Xiao Pang. A large pile of data could only be handled by him, and the time left for him was not much.

They booked the tickets in the afternoon, and in the evening, they boarded the plane back. Crossing the South Sea last night, they could still see the clouds floating above. However, no one paid attention to the clouds; the adult was sleeping, and the three high school students were still studying materials. After a nap this morning, they were in good spirits now and wanted to make the most of this time to study a bit more.

When the journey was halfway through, the person sitting by the window woke up. Originally planning to open Xiaoxiaole, the phone vibrated a few times, and there were several messages.

The high school students who were studying materials heard the person by the window laugh. Before they could retract their gaze, the person turned to them and asked, “Returning so late, do you need someone to pick you up?”

Xiao Pang and Zhang Xin both shook their heads and said no. They had already arranged for a car before boarding the plane, so they could directly take the car after landing.

Chen Jing also arranged for a car. Citizen Jiang praised the high school students for being reliable, and raised his hand to type a reply to the message.

Before departure, he casually sent a message to his Xiaoxiaole friend, saying he would take the evening flight back. The friend just came to ask if the time was late and if they needed someone to pick up the three high school students.

This was originally a good opportunity for the high school students to meet his Xiaoxiaole friend, but unfortunately, the high school students were too reliable.

After landing, getting on the car, returning to the city where a certain citizen had been sleeping almost all day, his brain became excited in the late night. He lay on the sofa and watched the soap opera that happened to start rerunning today.

The high school students indeed looked busy, and surprisingly, no one urged them to go to bed. After returning to their room, they didn’t come out again.

The planned mahjong game for the next day was also canceled because one person was suddenly required to go to work by the company, and with full resentment, he rushed to the company early in the morning. The originally planned activities were canceled, and the big son stayed in the room all the time. Jiang Yujin went downstairs to the barber shop owner for a chat.

Now it happened to be lunch break, the barber shop door was half closed, and the person inside, upon seeing him, directly extended a hand, attempting to pull the door completely down.

Jiang Yujin held the door to prevent it from being shut and exclaimed with a puzzled expression, “You’re so cold!”

Even though they hadn’t seen each other for two or three days, this person seemed to have no longing for him at all and even wanted to drive him away.

The door was forcefully opened from the outside. The barber shop owner, holding a cigarette, just watched as the other person walked in.

Jiang Yujin waved his hand, “Long time no see.”

The barber shop owner, to be honest, had just enjoyed two quiet days and didn’t want to meet this person. Exhaling a breath, he sat down on a chair, “Speak, what do you want with me?”

“Just look at how you say that.” Citizen Jiang said, “I just came to chat with you.”

The barber shop owner was skeptical, “Why don’t you go chat with Xu Tonggui?”

“He’s at work.”

Jiang Yujin said, opening his phone and counting the digits of the newly deposited amount in a certain salary card. He happily put down his phone.

The amount in the salary card increases when the other person works well, and his happiness increases accordingly.

The barber shop owner had nothing to say.

“You asked me before about what happened in the Game in the end.”

“This time I went to Atsha, to the Zero headquarters, and encountered the strange species I encountered last in the Game.”

The barber shop owner temporarily took off the cigarette in his mouth and said, “Did that strange species kill Xu Tonggui?”

“No,” Jiang Yujin said, “I killed him.”

The cigarette burned slowly, ash falling to the ground. The barber shop owner remained motionless, just looking at the other person.

Jiang Yujin seemed to have nothing unusual on the surface and said, “Let’s call that strange species Little Zero for now.”

In the last dungeon, he and Xu Tonggui jumped into the abyss, where Little Zero was. Or you could say the abyss could be considered a dungeon within the dungeon, an independent world with only Little Zero.

When they entered, the ever-changing pile of flesh that filled the entire small world gradually took on the appearance of a strange species, constantly changing, enlarging, forming, and finally being sent out of the abyss.

The continuous flow of strange species outside came from Little Zero. If there had to be an origin for the products in the Game, the origin of the strange species was undoubtedly here.

The flesh pile had a core, hidden in the massive organization. In the constant splitting and restructuring, they saw something red, crystal-like, quickly disappearing back into the flesh pile.

Once seen, it couldn’t be ignored. The process was somewhat complex and bloody, but in the midst of the scattered flesh, they found the red crystal.

For some reasons, Jiang Yujin couldn’t move this strange species, and the strange species couldn’t move him. In the end, it was Xu Tonggui who had to handle it.

He cleared a bloody path, preparing to destroy the crystal.

The change began from here.

The strange species had its protective mechanism. Little Zero had a clear exclusivity. Those not acknowledged by it couldn’t touch the crystal; they could only watch as their hands passed through it.

To solve it, one had to become it, be parasitized by it, or be dominated by it.

When deciding to let it die, it also doomed one’s own death.

It was a situation of inevitable death, and Xu Tonggui chose a mutual death. He and the strange species, neither would survive.

Human intuition is a terrifying thing. Xu Tonggui seemed to have vaguely anticipated the current situation earlier and accepted the outcome of death calmly.

Gradually, his brain and body began to lose control. Before consciousness completely disappeared, he crushed the crystal and then took out a dagger.

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