The Earth is Online
Tang Mo’s brain worked quickly. He almost immediately realized that the person talking to him wasn’t the egg or a turkey. He might be a certain creature of the black tower, but was more likely to be…
“Are you human?”
The male voice was silent for a moment. “Yes, I am human. Are you human?”
Tang Mo replied, “I am.”
Both of them didn’t speak again.
The car was parked on the side of the road, the sunset was dazzling and the white egg shone with a golden light. The words came from time to time. Tang Mo could see a few words and garbled characters. However, he was currently more concerned with the person who spoke to him.
He pondered for a moment and decided to show his sincerity before asking questions. He started to describe his situation. “Right now, I am holding a white egg in my hand and your voice is coming from it. Are you a human trapped in the egg or something?”
The other man’s voice was steady. “I’m not trapped in an egg. I have an egg in my hand and your voice is heard from it.” He added, “It is a turkey egg.”
Tang Mo had a thought. “You should be from China. Did you just come out from the black tower? My egg was obtained from the hands of a black tower monster. It is also a turkey egg.”
“Me too, I also got a turkey egg from a black tower monster.”
The two men thoroughly understood that the turkey eggs in their hands were similar to mobile phones, allowing them to communicate with a stranger they had never met.
That being the case, Tang Mo wanted to know how far this turkey egg could reach.
“Where are you?”
“What city are you in?”
The similar words made both of them speechless.
The other person responded first. “I am in Beijing.”
Beijing was thousands of kilometres away from Shanghai. The turkey eggs were directly linked. Were they really like a mobile phone?
Now Tang Mo spoke. “I am in Shanghai.”
Tang Mo looked down at the egg in his hand and had a vague idea. The egg in his hand seemed to be in a damaged state. Tang Mo didn’t think that his smashing of the egg had damaged it. It wasn’t the turkey egg that was cracked, but the steering wheel. The things from the black tower weren’t that fragile.
The likelihood of the egg being damaged by him was less than 20% and the possibility that it was originally already damaged was more than 80%.
Due to the damage to the egg, Tang Mo didn’t know what functions it had. The only words he could read from the garbled text on the turkey egg was:
This was a rare prop.
If the black tower was really just playing a game, it made sense for the players to obtain props. Rare props were very precious in any game. Tang Mo didn’t know the role of the damaged turkey egg but he could learn from the Beijing player about the real use.
A rare prop couldn’t just play the role of a phone. Human technology could already make global video calls. It was unreasonable that something as mysterious as the black tower would only do this. Since both eggs were similar in appearance and were connected, it was likely they had the same effect.
Tang Mo chose his words carefully. “When I was playing the black tower attack game, a big mole gave me the egg as a reward. The egg is very hard. I tried to smash it against the steering wheel, a stone and several other hard things. My steering wheel got a crack from it but the egg didn’t break.”
He tried to give as much information as possible so that the other person would feel comfortable sharing information.
Tang Mo continued speaking. “…The big mole that gave me the egg said that us humans can’t hatch the turkey egg. I thought I was the only one who could use this egg. I didn’t expect you to have it. But I don’t think this egg is only for talking to another person. Do you have a hint on your side?”
The male voice answered decisively, “No.”
Tang Mo, “…”
It was too obvious!
Wasn’t this person completely out of line?
Normal people would communicate with each other in a friendly atmosphere. Shouldn’t the other person take the initiative to give information?
Tang Mo was silent for a long time before making another attempt, “How did you contact me? I heard your voice first before answering.”
Tang Mo no longer had any hope about receiving any information.
“A few lines of words appeared on the egg and I tried to study it. When I tapped my finger on it three times, it suddenly flashed a golden light.” The man was finally willing to disclose information. “Whenever I speak, the egg emits a soft gold light.”
Tang Mo suddenly remembered that when he knocked on it three times, the egg seemed to flash. Then the man’s voice was heard and the light disappeared.
Tang Mo asked, “Do you know how to close the call?”
Both of them cut off the connection as they tested it. After 10 seconds, the male voice rang out, “I used my hands to hold the egg and the call was terminated.”
Knocking on it three times would start the call and it would stop when the egg was held with both hands?
Tang Mo suggested, “Then you cut off the call first and I will try it.”
Tang Mo tried it and discovered he could also open the call at any time as well as terminate it. After many tests by the two people, they discovered some things. No matter which person it was, they could open a conversation by simply tapping the egg. If either party held the egg, the call would be ended.
The two people had a tacit understanding during this experiment. No one spoke nonsense and shared as much information as possible.
There was a strange feeling in Tang Mo’s heart as they studied the egg. The owner of the other turkey egg worked very well with him, as if they had cooperated many times. This allowed Tang Mo to have a little bit of a good impression towards the other person. Unfortunately, Tang Mo’s impression would be better if the man had been more cooperative.
The man never spoke any key information from beginning to end and was obviously hiding something. Tang Mo knew that the other person was hiding and also knew that the other person was trying to worm facts out of him.
Now both of them had said what they could. If neither of them wanted to reveal their true information, it would be meaningless to speak any longer. For example, Tang Mo couldn’t say that his own fire egg was damaged or else he would be at a disadvantage. The other person didn’t give useful information and was always on guard against Tang Mo, an unknown stranger.
The man’s voice was smooth and a bit nice. “Do you still have something to say?”
Tang Mo stated, “I have one last question.”
“What is it?”
“When you first spoke, you didn’t say hello. It was…Momo?”
The air was quiet and Tang Mo vaguely felt something was wrong. However, he didn’t know what the problem was. There was deep laughter from the turkey egg and it seemed like the man was smiling for the first time. “You don’t even know what this egg is called?”
Tang Mo, “…”
Some words should be kept in the heart. Shouldn’t he be given a bit of face?
Tang Mo knew that this man was deliberately on guard against him. He also knew that the man knew Tang Mo had information missing. But actually saying it…it left a little taste in his heart. The two people had always been indifferent to each other, but now they seemed a bit closer.
At the very least, the other person wasn’t an enemy.
“This egg is called Momo. After I saw it shining, I reflexively shouted out Momo.”
Tang Mo said lightly, “My name is Mo, what are you called?”
“…” The man was silent as he realized that he had called Tang Mo’s name so intimately. A long time passed before he said, “My name is Fu.”
Tang Mo asked, “Is that all?”
After the call ended, Tang Mo put the turkey egg back in his pocket and tapped his finger against the steering wheel.
First, this egg was called Momo.
It should have nothing to do with his name. It just happened to be called this.
Secondly, Mr. Fu from Beijing was very smart and defensive. The chances of trying to get information from the other person was very slim. It was likely that this would be their first and last call. There was no benefit to calling. Both parties realized that the person on the other end of the egg was tough. That being the case, there was no need to contact each other.
This rare prop in Tang Mo’s hand was like a hot potato. He wanted to use it but he didn’t know the role of the turkey egg at all. He also didn’t know if the turkey egg was damaged to the point where it couldn’t be used.
As for worming out information from the man…
Tang Mo had no hope. Unless there was an accident that made the other person share information with him, it was absolutely impossible for this person to let go of anything.
Tang Mo was the same. He wouldn’t share the information of a rare item with a stranger. Owning this type of prop, he would hide it so it couldn’t be discovered by anyone. It could be a trump card that helped him win. Taking the initiative to give information about it, Tang Mo wasn’t that silly and sweet.
Tang Mo sighed and continued to drive to find Shibei Middle School.
The car drove until he reached downtown Shanghai, where the number of vehicles rammed into each other increased sharply. Choosing to drive at this time wasn’t wise. Tang Mo abandoned the car and started walking. He walked along the edge of the road and hid his body behind any objects.
Four days after the earth had come online, Shanghai had become a deserted city.
The sky darkened and many businesses on both sides of the street still had their lights on. Tang Mo passed by a KFC. There were still ketchup and fries on the table. But the fries were also soggy and no one was in the fast food restaurant.
The closer Tang Mo got to the city centre, the more cautious he became.
There were more people here. As he walked around a corner, he saw a young woman in sportswear taking various snacks and instant noodles from the convenience store. She wasn’t surprised to see Tang Mo. She just looked at him with vigilance and turned to search for food and water in the convenience store.
Tang Mo was carrying a heavy bag with a flashlight, food and water.
Along the way, he saw a lot of people searching for food and water. He also saw several small groups staring vigilantly at every passing person. Many people were covered with dried blood and some of them were injured. They lay on the side of the road with broken limbs and groaned.
There were many people left in the city after the events of the black tower.
Tang Mo estimated that in the centre of Shanghai, there were approximately four people per square kilometre. It was dinner time and most of the people were eating. After Tang Mo’s physical fitness was improved, his demand for food had greatly reduced. He hadn’t eaten for a day and a night but he wasn’t hungry at all.
Shibei Middle School was a famous school in Shanghai but Tang Mo didn’t know it. Rather than asking two people eating on the side of the road, he went straight to a deserted newspaper kiosk to find a detailed map of Shanghai.
Tang Mo carried his bag and moved forward again.
Suddenly, a clear and cheerful voice was heard.
“Ding dong! Richard Wells, an official player from the United State’s 3rd district has successfully opened the black tower. In three minutes, all American players please begin to attack the tower!”
Tang Mo stopped while the two people eating also looked up at the distant black tower. Tang Mo turned his head and looked at the clock hanging on the wall of the kiosk.
“The game time is between 6 to 18 o’clock every day. The game time for China is already over. The United States…there is a 13 hour time difference. The game time is calculated according to local time? But the announcement is global…”
Tang Mo continue to move forward.
This game announcement wasn’t like when the stowaway Fu Wenduo opened the black tower. It stopped broadcasting after one announcement instead of repeating it three times.
It wasn’t a Chinese player who started the tower attack game but an American player. Tang Mo walked on the road and passed a middle-aged man who was bleeding and on the verge of death. The man said in a gloating manner, “Let’s go, go and die…die…”
It was 11 at night when Tang Mo finally reached the Jing’an District. The cars in the street were smashed together and he kept having to climb over them. This caused his speed to fall. He also accidentally walked in the wrong direction. Once he reached Jing’an District, the loud child’s voice was heard in the quiet night.
“Ding dong! US District 2’s official player Mary van der Sar has successfully cleared the black tower’s first floor!”
Tang Mo raised an eyebrow with surprise. It wasn’t the player who opened the tower attack game?
“Ding dong! November 19th, 2017. A total of two players in the world have cleared the black tower’s first floor. The remaining 416.23 million players, please try to attack the tower.”
Tahg Mo’s footsteps slowed as he looked up at the shadow suspended in the air.
He clearly remembered that there were more than 490 million players logged into the game yesterday. Now…there was 80 million less? Was it because China and the United States attacked the tower or were there other ways for players to die?
80 million people died so soon?
Tang Mo’s expression was grim as he kept moving forward. The street lights constantly flashed. Tang Mo pulled the flashlight from his backpack and illuminated the map. He didn’t say a word as he walked three blocks and arrived at an intersection. After a while, Tang Mo saw traffic signs about a school zone and knew he had arrived near the school.
Tang Mo stepped a glass shard. He looked down and saw many tiny pieces of glass on the ground. He looked up again. The street light above his head and somehow broken and the glass pieces had fallen to the ground.
This was only the first broken light.
Tang Mo looked at the road leading to the school gates.
Only two lights gleamed in the darkness. The ground was covered with glass shards. The late night wind whistled and blew through the trees on both sides of the road. The dark shadows of the trees were like silent ghosts. Tang Mo’s face was expressionless as he stepped on the glass shards.
The cold wind blew the hem of his jacket and his eyes were calm, as if he hadn’t noticed anything.
Suddenly, Tang Mo raised his feet and quickly took two steps to the left. In the spot where he had just been standing, a big nail the thickness of a large finger appeared. If he stepped on it, the soles of his feet would’ve definitely been pierced.
Tang Mo raised his head and looked around vigilantly.
He was 100 metres away from the school gates.
It was early morning and the cold night wind was blowing. There was no one around. Tang Mo continued to move forward. The magic nails appeared two more times. One of them even blatantly floated in front of his face. If he took a step without paying attention, the nail would pierce his eyes. Fortunately, he reacted very quickly and escaped.
These strange situations only occurred when he was close to the school. Now he was only a dozen metres away from the school gate. If he wanted to go back to the intersection, he would need to travel 80 metres.
Tang Mo hesitated for a moment before deciding to enter the school to investigate.
A voice urgently cried out, “Don’t come!”
The voice was young and loud, with a hint of immaturity.
Tang Mo immediately responded. “Are you a student of the school?”
“Don’t come over. You…who are you?”
“I have no hostile intentions. I am looking for a student. She is my friend’s daughter.”
The big nail floating in front of Tang Mo fell to the ground, seemingly no longer obstructing his way. Tang Mo moved forward without any obstructions and reached the school gate. Looking through the bars of the ground, Tang Mo didn’t see anyone, especially not the young boy he just spoke to.
Tang Mo frowned and loudly asked, “Where are you?”
The boy timidly asked, “You…you’re not a bad person?”
“I’m not. What difficulties do you have? Do you need any help? I have some food and water here.”
“I…I’m in the guardroom next to the gate. Put the food and water in the doorway. Don’t come in…”
Tang Mo took out a bottle of water and a bag of biscuits from his backpack and headed to the door of the guardroom. He walked slowly and stopped half-way.
The little boy asked, “You…why aren’t you coming?”
Tang Mo smiled and continued. There was silence as the little boy no longer spoke. Tang Mo also didn’t speak as he walked quietly. He walked up to the door of the guardroom and suddenly increased his pace. He headed sideways from the door and crashed through the window into the small guardroom.
The fragments of the window fell on the steps that Tang Mo was about to walk on. The steps collapsed in a flash, revealing a big hole that was seven or eight metres deep. The bottom of the hole had many sharp knives pointing upwards.
“Teacher, he found out! Teacher, help me!”
Ordinary pieces of glass couldn’t hurt Tang Mo’s skin. Even his reaction speed and running speed surpassed most humans. The chubby little boy shouted in horror at the sight of Tang Mo. He turned and ran away, but Tang Mo was faster than him. He grabbed the arm of the fat boy and dragged him back.
“Don’t move! Who are you and what do you want?” An anxious male voice was heard.
Tang Mo looked up to see a young man in a white shirt. He seemed to have just woken up, as his hair was messy and his face flushed. He ran into the guard room.
Tang Mo asked, “Why did you like to me just now? Are you trying to kill me?”
The young man hurriedly said, “Put him fown first. Don’t hurt him. We will give you anything you want!”
Tang Mo noticed something was wrong. He was preparing to ask about the situation when a voice said, “Tang Mo? You’re finally here! Hey, let go. Mr. Li, he isn’t a bad person. He is Tang Mo, the friend I was telling you about. He wanted to go to the school to find someone but we ended up separated. I came to the school to see if I could run into him.”
Tang Mo looked at the person.
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