The Earth is Online
The young man’s expression was very sincere. He didn’t move closer and stood two metres away, keeping a safe distance with Tang Mo. He seemed to be afraid of Tang Mo misunderstanding and hastened to explain, “I mean, these four bodies seemed to have killed each other. Their bodies match the characteristics of the second instance. There is the second instance nearby. You are right at the entrance. Therefore, I wanted to ask if you guys just came back from that instance?” He seemed to be worried about whether the three people were human or black tower creatures.
The beer belly man beaten by Tang Mo was on the ground and didn’t speak.
The old man nodded and said, “Yes, we did just come out of an instance. But I don’t know what you mean by the second instance.”
The man asked tentatively, “Then these four people died in that instance and…you came out?” He pointed to the four bodies on the ground.
The old man nodded. “Yes, only the three of us came out.”
The young man’s eyes slowly widened. Then he pulled out a silver whistle from his pocket and blew it. One minute later, a man and woman approached from a distance. Once they saw the four bodies on the ground, they responded in the exact same way as their companion. Then they saw the Tang Mo trio next to the bodies.
The young woman was startled. “They can’t be…”
“Yes, they have just come out from the second instance. They cleared it.”
The three people looked at the beer belly man, the old man and Tang Mo.
The young man with the whistle stepped forward. Tang Mo stared at him while quietly pressing a hand to the wrist tattoo. The man said, “My name is Nie Fei. These are my companions, Tang Qiao and Ye Yuanze. The three of us heard about bodies suddenly appearing in nearby areas. We came here to see if there was an entrance to the second instance.”
“What is the second instance?” The beer belly man couldn’t help asking.
Nie Fei patiently explained. “This is the code we gave to the instance you just played. The three of us belong to an organization. The organization doesn’t have many people as it takes the elite route. We have 17 people and only recruit those with a certain level of ability. After the black tower game officially started, we discovered seven instances. The one you experienced was numbered two.”
The young woman nodded. “Yes. The black tower game has officially started for four days. Perhaps you have discovered that the black tower isn’t just the tower attack games. There are instances similar to the second instance. They way to trigger every instance is different and any action can trigger an instance. For example, the seventh entrance to the second instance is an unobtrusive little shop by the side of the road. Taking anything in the store will trigger the instance.”
Tang Mo started to think.
He didn’t doubt the origins of these three people or think they were lying. They didn’t need to lie or make up a non-existent organization. The two sides had just met each other and Tang Mo’s trio had barely disclosed any information. The other side already said many things that Tang Mo hadn’t heard of.
In today’s world, information was far more precious than money.
Assuming that the second instance was ‘Mario’s Monopoly Game,’ it wasn’t surprising that the entrance was a small store. After all, Tang Mo entered the instance because he touched a flower bed beside the road.
Tang Mo stood behind the beer belly man and the old man, separated from the other group by three metres.
The old man asked, “Why are you telling us these things?”
The three people looked at each other before saying, “We would like to ask you to come to our base and give a detailed account of the second instance. The biggest feature of the entrance to the second instance is that there must be dead bodies around. The number of dead bodies is generally between five and seven, and there are obvious signs that they killed each other. After discovering the second instance, we have found a total of 391 dead bodies and no survivors. You are the only players to beat the second instance.”
The old man frowned. “What would we get for telling you?”
The old man asked the question that Tang Mo was wondering. Tang Mo had no interest in this type of thing. He didn’t want to join an organization. In this world, joining a small team with a tacit understanding could greatly improve the survival rate. However, the 17 members in this organization was too many. It was easy to become a target and was very dangerous.
Nie Fei said, “Since you passed through the second instance, there must be something extraordinary. If there are no surprises, we will invite you to join the organization.”
It turned out to be this benefit.
Tang Mo threw the beer belly man’s jacket into a roadside bin and turned away.
Nie Fei looked strangely at Tang Mo but didn’t try to stop him. The three people in Tang Mo’s group knew the situation in the second instance. As long as someone was willing to go to the base, they could learn the truth. It didn’t matter if it was one or two people.
The old man said, “I’m not a powerful person. I won’t join your organization.” This condition wasn’t attractive.
Nie Fei thought for a moment. “It doesn’t matter if you don’t join the organization since we have a certain threshold. Not just anyone can join. We can exchange information with each other. You tell us the information of the second instance and we will provide you with information of the same value.”
Tang Mo’s steps paused. He turned around and slowly came back, standing beside the beer belly man.
The beer belly man panicked. “You were leaving, why did you come back?”
Tang Mo glanced at him and asked lightly, “I can’t walk?”
“Okay…” The beer belly man was angry but he didn’t dare speak.
Nie Fei’s trio saw this and immediately understood as they stared at Tang Mo. This person was the backbone of the three cleared players.
The base of the organization was in Pudong. They walked for half an hour and saw a mall. The beer belly man’s leg had been injured by Tang Mo. He limped along in the rear of the group. On the way to the base, the old man thought these three people would introduce the organization. However, they didn’t say a word and just took them to the base.
The mall was located between several communities and consisted of five connected buildings. It covered an extremely wide area. A shopping mall surrounded by buildings. There were many people around the mall and they kept going in and out. After seeing strangers come over, the crowd were wary. Then they saw the Nie Fei trio and their eyes widened.
The large shopping mall had supermarkets, clothing stores and household goods stores. After the earth went online, the manufacturing of human goods halted. If they wanted to live, they needed to find a suitable place. Shopping malls and supermarkets were the most suitable for survival. These types of places had the most players.
Nie Fei’s organization had their base in the innermost fifth building. There were fewer players along the way. As they walked through a large supermarket, a tall and strong foreign man came over and asked in sloppy Chinese, “Nie Fei, who are they? Why did you bring them to the base?”
Nie Fei replied, “Jack, they are the winners of the second instance.”
The foreign man suddenly became very excited. He opened his eyes and looked the Tang Mo trio up and down. While he was looking at Tang Mo, Tang Mo was also looking at him.
This foreign man was around two metres tall and had sturdy flesh. The thickness of his arms was around the size of the waist of an ordinary woman.
Some people had deeply hidden powers that were difficult to detect. Take Tang Mo for example. Before he took out the big match, no one knew he had an ability and he didn’t feel dangerous. But some dangerous opponents were exposed, such as this brawny man. Tang Mo had no doubt that this person could lift him and throw him dozens of metres away.
The foreign man named Jack joined the Nie Fei trio. He led them through a down and down stairs into the mall’s underground garage. He said, “Nie Fei, you must tell me how they survived the second instance. I can’t even get through the S3 instance. It is incredible that there are humans who can beat the second instance.”
Nie Fei nodded. “I will talk to you once I meet Dr. Luo.”
“Yes, don’t forget to tell me. Maybe I can get some inspiration from it and figure out how to beat the S3 instance!”
The strong man sent them to the basement level of the garage before going back. Tang Qi and Ye Yuanze left first. Nie Fei walked with the Tang Mo trio to the second underground floor. He opened open a room with lights and entered first.
“Dr. Luo, I brought three players who passed the second instance. Maybe you can get some information about the black tower from them.”
Under the bright lights, a young man in a white lab coat took off his glasses and smiled at Tang Mo.
Tang Mo was surprised for a moment before nodding at him. “Luo Fengcheng.”
Nie Fei was surprised. “Do you know Dr. Luo?”
Luo Fengcheng got up from the chair and walked to Tang Mo. He turned to look at his companion. “It seems you haven’t asked his name. Nie Fei, this is Tang Mo. On the 19th, he was the official player who survived the first floor of the black tower with me.”
Nie Fei understood. “You are Tang Mo!”
Tang Mo didn’t answer.
Luo Fengcheng warmly extended his hand and Tang Mo grabbed it. Luo Fengcheng smiled brightly like it was a reunion with an old friend. Tang Mo raised an eyebrow and waited for the next words.
“There is no mistake, you should be the one who cleared the second instance.” Luo Fengcheng released Tang Mo’s hand and came to a conclusion. “If it is you, it is possible to pass an instance of that difficulty. Okay Nie Fei, take these two guests out first. That friend’s leg seems to be injured from the instance. Take him to the pharmacy on the second floor and find something for his wound.”
Nie Fei nodded.
The beer belly man looked back and forth between Tang Mo and Luo Fengcheng. Finally, he gritted his teeth and dragged the leg that was broken by Tang Mo after Nie Fei.
The only ones left in the room was Tang Mo and Luo Fengcheng.
“You do not need to look at me that way.” Luo Fengcheng sat in his chair and gestured for Tang Mo to sit. “We might not count as friends but we were teammates.” Luo Fengcheng added, “I won’t trick you, don’t worry.”
Tang Mo pulled out a chair and sat down. He put his backpack on the ground and looked at Luo Fengcheng. “I thought only those with abilities could join the organization. Are they also national researchers?”
Luo Fengcheng asked, “You mean Nie Fei and Tang Qiao? No. After the game officially started, I was the only black tower researcher in Shanghai left alive. The leaders almost completely disappeared. Nie Fei was a senior student before the earth came online and Tang Qiao was learning to dance. They don’t necessarily need to have an ability. As long as they have a strength and have gained the approval of all members, they can join. By the way, do you know how to log in to the black tower?”
Tang Mo didn’t hide it. “In the three day elimination period, the official players have to participate in a black tower game and win. The stowaway needs to kill at least one person in those three days. As for the reserve players, they need to win other types of games.” He spoke vague information.
“Almost. Luo Fengcheng poured a glass of water for Tang Mo. “We call these three days the ‘candidate selection.’ In the three days of candidate selection, the reserve players needed to eliminate one player. This isn’t limited to a game. The first way is as long as one person says they are eliminated, it is a success.”
Tang Mo took a deep breath. He realized what Luo Fengcheng was going to say next.
Luo Fengcheng smiled. “The second way is to participate in a reserve game recognized by the black tower or show some type of special behaviour during the game that is approved by the black tower. Then they will become a reserve player. There are 52 official players and 823 reserve players in this mall. It was easy for me to obtain such information.”
Tang Mo spoke calmly. “If I join you, I can get this information?”
Luo Fengcheng nodded. “Yes.”
The two men didn’t speak again as they stared at each other.
After a long time, Tang Mo opened his mouth. “Let’s exchange information. Tell me what an instance is, the second instance and the S3 instance. Then I will tell you what is in the second instance.”
Luo Fengcheng already told Tang Mo some information about reserve players. Some of it was information that Tang Mo already knew, but the other side showed sincerity. Therefore, Tang Mo wasn’t stingy. “The second instance is a game called Mario’s Monopoly Game. The game BOSS is Mario and his strength is higher than the big mole we saw in the underground cave.”
Luo Fengcheng listened attentively.
“The game has 150 squares, including 30 reward squares…”
Tang Mo simply described Mario’s Monopoly Game. After he spoke about the ‘Who will share your joys and sorrows?’ effect that triggered on the fifth round of rolling the dice, Luo Fengcheng frowned. “Then this is why those people died.”
It must be admitted that the vast majority of players who died in the Mario Monopoly Game died from their own hands. They had no chance to go to the end and were defeated by the six consecutive prisoner squares. According to normal dice probability, at least six out of eight players would walk on the same square and trigger the ‘Who will share your joys and sorrows?.’ At least one of the two would die.
Then Tang Mo described the way he won. Luo Fengcheng nodded lightly and said casually, “You luck is really good.”
The probability of the first square being a prisoner’s square was also very high. Tang Mo bet right, wasn’t this good luck?”
Tang Mo said lightly, “Luck is also a type of strength.”
Luo Fengcheng glanced at him and didn’t speak.
Tang Mo said, “I’m finished. It is your turn.”
Luo Fengcheng opened his mouth. “Our organization is called Attack. I left the black tower on the 19th and joined the organization through some coincidences. On the 15th, the earth went online. Attack’s 11 members entered a black tower game on the 15th and gained the status of official players. At the time, they didn’t know they were official players. They wanted to tell other people about the game they went through but found it was impossible to say anything about the game. Therefore, some of them chose to post a hidden message on a large local forum in Shanghai to find companions. In three days, they found 11 companions and once the game official started, the ‘Attack’ organization was formed.
Tang Mo repeated it. “Attack. Attacking the tower?”
Luo Fengcheng. “After the formal start on the 18th, Attack found the first instance and numbered it S1. At present, we have found a total of six S instances and three other instances. The Mario’s Monopoly Game you experienced is part of the other instances and is number two.”
“What is the difference between a S instance and other instances?”
“S is safe. The six S instances are safe for average official players. Even if they can’t win, there is a way to safely leave the instance.” Luo Fengcheng opened a drawer, pulled out a filer and handed it to Tang Mo. “The three other copies are numbered from one to three and are ranked in order of difficulty. So far, no survivors have been found. Oh yes, the second instance is closed. It will be automatically closed once you passed it.”
Tang Mo took the folder. On the first page of the folder:
[Instance Type: Other]
[Number of Deaths Found: 623]
[Number of Entrances Found: 42]
[Instance Features: The people died from beasts eating the chest and the heart is gone. There are 6~10 bodies around the entrance.]
[Conclusion: The number of people in the instance is around 10. There is no obvious information and it is extremely dangerous. Don’t access.]
Then on the second page:
[Instance Type: Other]
[Number of Deaths Found: 391]
[Number of Entrances Found: 30]
[Instance Features: Players show clear signs of killing each other. 5~7 bodies appear around the entrance.]
[Conclusion: The number of players in the second instance is less than 10 people. It is likely to be a game against each other. It is high dangerous and shouldn’t be entered.]
The third page:
[Instance Type: Other]
[Number of Deaths Found: 156]
[Number of Entrances Found: 19]
[Instance Features: Suffocated to death. 3~5 bodies appear around the entrance.]
[Conclusion: This is likely to be a survival type instance under extreme conditions. It is dangerous and shouldn’t be accessed.]
After the three pages, there was a detailed map of the Pudong area marked with a black pen. Tang Mo looked at it casually, quickly remembering the entrances of the first and third instance before returning the folder.
Tang Mo said, “You just said that the second instance has been closed. Since it is closed, the information I have given you isn’t worth your information.”
Luo Fengcheng put away the folder. “Since you passed the second instance, the first and third instances shouldn’t be very threatening for you.”
Tang Mo had seen the known entrances of the dangerous instances. Such information was too precious.
Tang Mo stared at him. After a long time, he asked, “This organization, does it want to attack the black tower?”
“The strongest defense is offense.” Luo Fengcheng smiled. “Originally, this organization’s name was Exist. They just want to exist, to survive. Then three days ago, Fu Wenduo opened the black tower and all Chinese players were dragged into the tower attack game. Two of the first eleven members died. If their strength had been high enough, they would’ve survived.”
Attack was the best defense.
Tang Mo didn’t deny this perspective.
The second instance would be closed after it was cleared. Everyone in the organization knew this. However, the trio led by Nie Fei still wanted to get information about the second instance from Tang Mo and even exchanged their own information.
They did it for two purposes. The first was to get tips from the cleared instance. Perhaps other instances would be inspired by it. The second was to use the difficulty and contents of the second instance to comprehend the difficulty and pattern of the first and third instances. Once dangerous instances were faced in the future, there was a certain amount of knowledge to make a decision.
Tang Mo had got the ruby from Mario and the beer belly man’s ability. His strength rose again. There must be rewards in the other instances. In order to improve strength, clearing an instance was the fastest way.
Understanding the second instance meant developing strategies for other instances.
The Attack organization was a rather radical organization. They might gain more information but they would also face more danger. They wouldn’t avoid risks and would look for ways to improve their strength from the dangerous instances and games.
Tang Mo was silent for a moment. “I will consider whether I will join or not.”
Luo Fengcheng nodded. “Good.”
Tang Mo left the room and found a shop with no one present on the top floor of the mall. He locked the store’s door and spread a few clothes on the ground, ready to rest.
He lay behind the cashier’s counter, the large wooden cabinet blocking his body. Tang Mo carefully listened to any movements and saw a camera in the corner. He took out a coin from the cashier and moved his wrist. The coin flew and break the camera’s lens.
Now the camera couldn’t be used but he wouldn’t be careless.
Tang Mo turned around and put his hand in his backpack. He used the barrier of the barrier and took out his abilities book. No matter which direction, it looked like the book came from the backpack, not thin air. Once the book was pulled out, Tang Mo turned to the latest page.
[Ability: Swallow energy from far away like a tiger.]
[Owner: Liu Feihao (Official Player)]
[Function: An intense storm will gush from the start. Lasts for three minutes and the wind speed goes up to level 10.]
[Restrictions: Can only be used by exhaling air. Cooldown time is 10 minutes.]
[Note: Swallow energy from far away like a tiger? Liu Feihao: Meow~]
[Tang Mo version usage instructions: The violent storm can only be activated for 1 minute. The maximum wind speed is 8 and it is limited to be used twice a day. This ability is hot and spicy. The owner is concerned. Do you think Tang Mo looks like Hello Kitty?]
Tang Mo gave a cold Hello Kitty face to the abilities book.
Lying on the cold grown, Tang Mo turned to the first page and read it from the beginning again.
In addition to ‘Don’t give money for eating’, Tang Mo now had a total of six abilities. The first was a storage type. Tang Mo used it to store the large march. The second was Li Bin’s curse. This was the ability that Tang Mo used the most. It didn’t necessarily play a key role every time but there was no problem using it against disgusting opponents.
The third ability was to identity the type of players and was almost impossible to use. Then it was Chen Shanshan’s ability. This ability was subtle. Tang Mo never felt its performance but it was reflected all the time.
The only offensive abilities he had was ‘Return my grandfather’ and ‘Swallow energy from far away like a tiger.’
Tang Mo tapped the pages with his fingers and the look in his eyes was deep, as if he was thinking about something. He put the book back in his backpack and pulled a ruby out of his pocket.
It was night and the mall was silent. Faint moonlight shone through the huge glass windows of the top floor of the mall. It shone into the stores, leaving a faint light.
In the dark environment, the ruby colour was very deep, like a rich red wine.
Tang Mo squeezed the ruby with his fingers and gently moved. When the gem shook, the red inner sheen swayed with the amplitude of the shaking, as if it contained a strange blood red liquid. Tang Mo learned from observing the turkey egg and tapped the ruby three times with his fingers.
Tang Mo grasped the ruby tightly with one hand.
Still no reaction.
He held the ruby in front of him and observed it carefully. Just as he raised the ruby near his hair, there was a dark red light and a stinky hat descended from the sky, falling directly on Tang Mo’s face.
Tang Mo, “…”
Tang Mo almost fainted because of the smell and took off the hat covering his face. He didn’t have time to wonder where the hat came from before finding that the ruby in his hand had disappeared. Then he took a closer look. “….”
The red hat was familiar to anyone with their childhood memories. Above the big brim was a white ‘M’. Almost everyone had played this funny game. The game player who wore this hate jumped on top of blocks, kicked monsters, defeated dragons and saved the princess.
Tang Mo met the owner of this hat two hours ago. When they last met, the owner of this hat was lying on the stage and crying. Before leaving, he was so moved by Tang Mo’s blessing of longevity that he threw himself on the stage and started bleeding.
At this moment, there was another red flash. The red hat became a ruby again and small lines of text appeared on the game.
[Prop: Mario’s Hat]
[Owner: Tang Mo]
[Function: When wearing this magical hat, there is a chance to use your head to gain magician treasures.]
[Restrictions: You must use the top of the head in order to trigger the treasure. The trigger probability is 10%. Wearing the red hat will make you grow a Mario exclusive mustache, very manly.]
[Note: A beauty doesn’t necessarily wear a red hat. It may also be Mario.]
The very manly Mario’s mustache…
Tang Mo’s eyes twitched as he carefully read these lines a few times. He tried to raise the ruby to his heaed. In an instant, the shining gem turned into a stinking hat. Once the hat was lowered, it turned into a sparkling gem again.
Don’t be deceived by TV scams!
If this stinky hat had been hidden in the golden hill, it was absolutely impossible for Tang Mo to grab it. It would’ve at least hesitated for three seconds!
Tang Mo felt a little regret for the first time. He shouldn’t have taken this jewel. At least the gold coin could be used as a weapon. It was better than this stinky hat.
Tang Mo cursed the stinky hat and Mario in his heart 100 times. However, he finally put the ruby into the inner pocket of his jacket and tightened the zipper. He closed his eyes and rested for an hour. Then taking advantage of the intense night, Tang Mo quietly packed his things and left the mall.
Everywhere was quiet and Tang Mo’s footsteps were extremely light. There was almost no noise on the ground. But the moment he left the mall, a dark shadow ran into the underground garage and knocked on Luo Fengcheng’s door.
“Dr. Luo, he is gone. Should we chase him?”
Luo Fengcheng was holding a pen and kneeling on the ground studying something. Taking a close look, the ground was covered with a two metres long white paper. The centre of the paper was a small stage, with 150 connected squares leading up to it. Luo Fengcheng held a dice in his left hand and a pen in his right hand.
Once he heard the voice, he stopped moving his pen. “Attack isn’t the Triad.”
The man nodded and left.
Luo Fengcheng got up and walked to the table. He opened the drawer and removed the folder inside. He turned to the second page and looked at the ‘number of deaths found’ column. Someone had used a pen to cross out 391 and write 6,461 on one side.
“When you wrote this, you didn’t plan to stay…”
Tang Mo walked quickly in the night and left Pudong.
He left the mall late at night in order to not disturb the Attack organization. Tang Mo decided to leave the Pudong area and found a roadside store to hide in until dawn. He walked very fast this time and reached the gate of the Shibei Middle School in two hours. He entered the familiar gym and saw that it was empty.
Tang Mo found a piece of bread in the equipment room that was left by someone eating it. The bread had fallen beside a pool of water and there was a thick layer of mildew on it.
It looked as if the children had gone the next day after he did.
There wasn’t much perseverance in Tang Mo’s heart as he left the gym with his back. He was heading towards the door when he stopped and looked at a match that fell on a corner of the fllor. His eyes narrowed and he looked away from the match towards the white wall in front of him. After carefully observing for a moment, Tang Mo stepped forward and wiped the layer of white ash on the wall with his palm.
[Tang Mo brother:
We will be going first. When you play games later, be sure to live.
The last words were twisted. They were ugly compared to the previous words. At first glance, he knew that the chubby boy had engraved it.
Tang Mo smiled and erased the words engraved on the wall. Then he took his bag and left the school.
As he was walking to the school gate, a loud child’s voice was heard through Shanghai.
“Ding dong! Europe’s Zone 3 stowaway, Franz Liszt has successfully cleared the first floor of the black tower!”
Tang Mo’s footsteps paused.
Someone in Europe cleared the black tower? When did the Europe tower attack game begin?
According to the time, Fu Wenduo spent around three hours on the first floor of the black tower. Mary Van der Sar of the United States took five hours. The attackers in Europe should be weaker than China and the United States. The time spent was more than five ohous.
Based on arithmetic calculation, if the attacker took seven hours, then Tang Mo was still in Mario’s Monopoly Game when the European players started attacking the tower.
At this point, Tang Mo no longer hesitated and looked calmly forward.
The sun was rising and there were more people on the street. Tang Mo didn’t have anything else to do in Shanghai. He planned to go back to Suzhou and see if he could find any surviving friends. He walked to Nanjing Road, where people could be seen everywhere. There weren’t many people but no matter where he went, there would be at least two or three people.
Tang Mo carried his big bag and walked foward. He just walked by a flower bed when Tang Mo’s body stiffened and he stopped. Nobody noticed his strangeness. In three seconds, Tang Mo’s face darkened, his fingers tightened and his face became very ugly.
It was because a crisp and cheerful voice had been heard in his mind just now.
Tang Mo looked around at several people walking past, checking if they heard the strange sound. However, the three people passing by didn’t seem to hear anything. Tang Mo staring at them caused them to jump, one muttering ‘psycho’ before rushing away.
In Tang Mo’s head, the child’s voice was still ringing. It spoke three times in total, every time sounding more joyful.
“Ding dong! China Zone 2’s official player Tang Mo has reached the first level of the black tower. In 10 days, be prepared to attack the tower!”
In the bright sun, the black tower suspended in the air shone brightly. If you find any errors ( broken links, non-standard content, etc.. ), Please let us know so we can fix it as soon as possible.