The words coming from the indifferent female voice also sounded cold and emotionless. Zhang Xue looked at Xiao Yu coldly, "What's the use of crying? Who do you want to come and save you? Your friends or other people? No one can save you except for yourself. Don't talk nonsense if you don't want to die, and try your best to live."
These are the longest words one ever heard Zhang Xue say.
Still crying, Xiao Yu shouted at Zhang Xue, "What do you know?! I have just started doing an internship. My life has just begun. I don't even have a boyfriend yet! I miss my parents!"
Zhang Xue chuckled indifferently, "Who doesn’t have family or friends here? Who isn’t in their twilight years? Who wanted to stay in this gerdamned place? If you want to go out alive, you must strive to survive!"
The crying gradually diminished, and Lin Man Man comforted Xiao Yu in a low voice. Wen Lang shook his head and continued, "The mission world is also divided into 5 levels, from high to low are Level S, A, B, C, and D. Only the Level D world has newcomers."
Wen Lang took a sip of water and continued, "There are actually many organizations in Lazuli, large and small. Black Scorpion is a medium-sized organization. They have about 60 people in it, and most ‘passengers’ are not happy with their cruel style."
As for how cruel it is, Wen Lang didn't elaborate, but said, "If you bumped into them, you must act soft. The harder you go against them, the more excited they are. They are a group of maniacs. They also like to pull people back as their ‘fall guy/scapegoat’."
Wen Lang sounded irritable when he talked about the Black Scorpion, and he didn't want to say it anymore. He smiled and said, "Isn't there still 9 days left? Let's talk about this slowly. How can I say it all at once?" Looking around, Wen Lang rubbed his knees and put his hood on. Next, he yawned, "I am getting a little sleepy. We will start to do the task tomorrow so let's rest early today."
"Wait." Qin Tan said, his expression looked determined under the fire, "Let’s assign the vigil, and plans for tomorrow. You guys can say what you think about it." After saying that, Qin Tan stopped and waited. No one spoke for a while. He nodded and continued, "Okay then, don’t waste time and just do as I arranged. Zhang Xue will be paired with Lin Man Man, Wen Lang with Xiao Yu, Chen Shuyang with Gong Yi, and I will be with Lou Fan. Now, let’s talk about the plan of tomorrow."
"Tomorrow morning, we will enter the village. If we meet anyone from Black Scorpion, act like we don’t know them. Our main task is to investigate the situation of the ship, Shenzhou. At present, we only know that Shenzhou must be a sunken ship, but we don’t know the exact location and what exactly is the problem with this ship. We have to clarify these before we can go down and look for the ship. Also, everyone should be mentally prepared. This ship is definitely not an easy task. We may encounter unexpected things. The worst case is Shenzhou is a ghost ship. Apart from that, we don’t know whether it will appear during the day or at night. If we can inquire more about the situation, we have more assurance."
Qin Tan says all this in advance, that even Lou Fan and Chen Shuyang, who had been discussing it a long time ago, are not confident in their hearts. Not to mention Wen Lang and Zhang Xue. Zhang Xue frowned and bit her lower lip unconsciously. Wen Lang took off his hood with a serious face.
The 3 newcomers did not dare to speak for a long time, and then asked for a while, "Then what shall we do?" Could it be we have to follow the group too to find the ghost ship?
Wen Lang sneered, "You guys? Just stay in the village and wait for us to come back. It's best to pray that we will come back. Otherwise, I don't think you know how to get back to the platform."
The faces of the 3 newcomers turned pale in an instant - they really don't know how to go back! In silence, everyone looked at Qin Tan, waiting for him to continue. Qin Tan simply uttered an ‘oh’, and then realized, "I have finished my words, let's rest."
Qin Tan speaks less, yet he said it calmly, confidently, and decisively. Wen Lang said with almost no hesitation, "I propose to let Qin Tan be the leader."
Qin Tan is originally the leader of his 3-person team, Lou Fan is in charge of diplomacy, and Chen Shuyang is in charge of clerical work. Since Wen Lang's proposal is not opposed by Zhang Xue, he happily decided, "Okay, then Qin Tan is our leader. Don't worry, I will unconditionally obey the leader's arrangement."
The 3 people who are well prepared for this mission world each brought a portable tent. So, a tent is given to the girls, another for Qin Tan and Lou Fan, and the last one for the other three guys. Qin Tan is still writing things in his notebook. Lou Fan wiped his face briefly and laid down on the ground with his clothes as a pillow. He said goodnight to Qin Tan and fell asleep on his side. Qin Tan replied good night then put down the pen and notebook in his hand. He stood up and put his coat on Lou Fan.
The night turned darker, and it is Zhang Xue and Lin Man Man's turn to keep vigil. Lin Man Man came out of the tent sleepily. The moment she got woken up, she suddenly didn’t know where she is at the moment. It’s as if she had a dream, dreaming that she had come to a terrible world. She thought it was a dream, but the moment she saw Zhang Xue, Lin Man Man became sober. What dream? It seems that the stable world in which she has been living is a dream instead.
Zhang Xue's pale face seemed to be stained with a hint of crimson under the firelight, and her indifferent eyebrows are softened a lot. Lin Man Man felt a little cold, and the surroundings are so quiet that it made people panic. Right now, she is spending the night in the wild for the first time.
"Sister Zhang Xue, aren't you afraid?" Lin Man Man's voice trembled. Even though she tried to control it, Zhang Xue could hear it.
Zhang Xue looked at the fire without speaking and seemed to be distracted. After a long time, she muttered something. Her voice is so soft that one could hardly hear her, "What's the use for fear?" As if to tell her herself that.
Lin Man Man didn’t receive Zhang Xue’s reply and could only hug herself tightly. The night is a bit cold. She is wearing a shirt and a small coat, so those couldn't resist the wind at night, especially they are staying by the lake which makes it even colder.
When everyone got up early the next morning, Lou Fan had already finished his daily training while Chen Shuyang is doing push-ups, and Qin Tan is also looking sweaty. The other 5 people stared at them silently. Wen Lang, who was yawning, is taken aback for a moment and stood on the spot with his mouth open.
"Good morning. Go and clean up, we are ready to go." Lou Fan greeted them friendlily as if they are very familiar with each other. Unexpectedly, no one said anything for a long time after Lou Fan spoke, which made him wonder if he said the wrong thing.
A group of 8 people packed everything up and brought everything they could. Wen Lang and Chen Shuyang saw that the 2 newcomer girls are so cold that their lips turned purple so they lent them the clothes they had brought. Qin Tan took the lead to walk towards the village. In fact, they are not far from the village. After walking for 10 minutes, the entrance of the village is right in front of them. The simple plaque reads three skewed characters: Little Fishing Village.
Simple and crude.
The village looked very simple and most of the houses are made of wooden structures. Occasionally, the people passing by can be seen dressed in a humble dress giving people a feeling like they are in the 70s and 80s. This weird feeling made everyone uncomfortable.
Soon after they entered the village, more people can be seen walking around. Lights and festoons are hanging everywhere. The atmosphere felt joyful, it should be some kind of event that is going to happen soon. The villagers also all have smiles on their faces, but their smiles are a little weird. Lou Fan looked very uncomfortable and got goosebumps all over his body. He turned his head and looked around. From a distance, a pair of mother and daughter are hugging each other, their faces full of sadness but it’s more to fear. The girl who is held in her mother’s arms raised her small face upwards, with a look of fear on her face.
Lou Fan felt that the two are the key, and nudged the person next to him with his elbow, "Qin Tan, there is something wrong with those two."
Not hearing any answer, Lou Fan turned his head and almost scream out in surprise. The person beside him is not Qin Tan, but a 40 or 50-years-old woman with a weird smile on her face. Her face is wrinkly and dark, and she gave people an uncomfortable look. Seeing that Lou Fan is looking at her, she smiled even wider. The tone in her voice made Lou Fan’s scalp feel numb, "Hehehe, this little brother. Our small fishing village will hold a grand sacrificial event soon, and there will be unexpected surprises."
Lou Fan swiftly moved a little farther away. The corner of his mouth twitched and he nodded under the woman’s piercing gaze. Then, he ran towards Qin Tan quickly. When Lou Fan got to Qin Tan's side, he couldn't help but look back. The woman is still standing there, with a smile plastered on her face. The smile startled him and he turned back quickly.
"What's the matter?" Qin Tan wanted to look behind Lou Fan, but Lou Fan grabbed him.
"Don't look! Fck, she scared me to death. Why didn't you guys call me when you leave? That old woman is terrifying, she smiled strangely that I felt uncomfortable all over my body. The girls in our team looked far better." After saying that, Lou Fan smiled at the two young ladies in the team.
Lin Man Man moved to Lou Fan's side in small steps, "B, Brother Lou, I think there is something wrong with this village. I'm a little scared."
"It's not right indeed. Don't be afraid, we are still here." Lou Fan nodded, and then comforted, "But more terrible things are yet to come. If you don't complete the task, you will only die. Thinking of this, are you still scared?"
Lin Man Man shook her head, but tears are swirling in her eyes. Lou Fan felt that this little girl might not be able to hold it anymore, but he could only sigh. They couldn’t even protect themselves, what more to protect others?
Qin Tan blocked the old woman’s gaze at them with his body and said, "Don't be afraid, I'm here."
Lou Fan: "..."
Lou Fan really wants to scream, ‘Oh my god, Qin Tan! Can't you stop being so manly?! I can't stand it!’ It's a pity that Lou Fan didn't dare to say that, so he could only curve up the corners of his mouth secretly. Emboldened by Qin Tan, Lou Fan took a glance to the back. The strange woman is gone, and so is the mother and daughter pair.
They don’t see the people from Black Scorpion, not sure where they had left. Their team continued to move forward, and soon they reached a place similar to a small square. A neat fence is circled around it and there is a round platform in the middle that is a bit higher than the ground. The square is full of people, and it looks joyous like when it is Chinese New Year time. Lou Fan remembered what the strange woman had just said, and whispered to everyone, "They are going to hold a sacrificial event soon. I think this should be the key."
Everyone felt the same and Wen Lang suggested, "Why don't we split up and ask around?"
Their target is quite big if they walked around in a big group. Lou Fan nodded in agreement, and discussed with Qin Tan, "How about splitting in a group of 2 or 3? I’ll take Lin Man Man, and you take Gong Yi and Chen Shuyang with you. Then, Wen Lang and Zhang Xue will take Xiao Yu. Any questions with this arrangement?"
After confirming the group, they separated in 3 directions and left the square. They agreed to gather here after half an hour regardless of whether there is new information or not. Lou Fan took Lin Man Man straight in the direction of the mother and daughter pair he saw just now. He must find them!
Raw word count: 3017
 The author probably didn’t check his/her draft when writing this explanation. I recalled the other worlds that they will go still have newcomers in it. And the level of difficulty is definitely higher than Level D. So, just ignore this author’s explanation lol