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Chapter 206 - To Go Astray

TL: xDh20, LifeisaJourney

Sorry for the delayed chapters, quite a lot has happened.

After the whistle had sounded, many of the people were rudely woken up from their slumbers and had gathered in the lobby. The individual squad leaders had to tally up their own respective squad members. Aside from LuChen Wang, none of the other members were unaccounted for.

“Do you require me to search the surrounding area?” Yin He asked Liu Gan.

“No need, this Variant has a special physique that you aren’t able to detect.” Liu Gan shook his head. If Yin He had been able to detect this Variant, she would’ve already discovered it during her reconnaissance earlier. So it would be useless to send her out again. It seemed like this Variant was capable of avoiding Yin He’s detection.

“Elder Liu, what should we do?” Zhang ShengLi asked Liu Gan.

“We can’t let it have any more opportunities. Gather as many mattresses as possible on the first floor of the lobby. The rest of the people will stay on the second floor of each room. Every room has to have at least four people. Doors will not be closed. The patrol at night will be on high alert, so do more rounds,” Liu Gan ordered.

With this difficult situation and no better ideas, Liu Gan resorted to the same method he had used to deal with the previous Variant Zombie that ate brains. If Liu Gan had to guess, this Variant Zombie was a cold-blooded type of animal. It had a chameleon's ability to manipulate its own body color to match the surrounding, it should have some sort of intelligence as it was able to proactively hide itself after taking the life of LuChen Wang.

Now that everyone was gathered, it hadn’t attacked head on, so its combat ability must be quite low. It could only use guerilla tactics and assassinate isolated individuals by exsanguination. So the best method to counter this Variant was to gather every player together in groups, so that it won’t be easy for the Variant to strike.

After the players had resettled down in the lobby, the more courageous players were able to drift off into a deep sleep. Only a small portion of players, who weren’t as comfortable with the situation, stared at the ceiling unable to fall asleep. Even though Liu Gan said it wasn’t a ghost, they didn’t trust that was the case. Especially when they had seen LuChen Wang’s pale white body and face, his wrinkled face a mask of horror frozen in place.

Now that the patrol squads had been arranged and the rest of the players had relocated, Liu Gan had an emergency meeting with all the squad leaders along with Lee Miao. At the same time, Zhao Meng and Qian An were also summoned as well. They were the first witnesses to the crime scene, so they had to tell their side of the story.

“Little Han, earlier in the lobby, you said something that caught my interest. So I had to stop you before you frightened the other players around us. Now that we are here, please repeat what you said earlier to Elder Liu.” Zhang ShengLi said to Han GuangMing.

“Ah… I see… I shouldn’t have said it that time, it was inappropriate with so many frightened players already… It’s like this. Elder Liu, when I was patrolling downstairs, Qian An told me that he heard a faint whistle-like sound. When it was still quiet, I, too, heard that sound. Only Zhao Meng and LuChen Wang weren’t able to hear it. So I wasn’t too sure if it was real.”

“This faint noise was coming from the back door that leads to the rear courtyard. As for the exact location, it was hard to tell. I investigated but the result was inconclusive. So when the three of us turned back, we discovered that LuChen Wang hadn’t followed us. We turned back to look for him and found that he was already…” Han GuangMing explained to Liu Gan.

“Right now, do you and Qian An still hear that faint noise?” Liu Gan asked Han GuangMing.

“If it quiets down, we can try again,” Qian An quickly added. It was still unknown if they would succeed.

“Okay, then let us quiet down for a moment. Everyone will concentrate and see if we can locate that sound,” Liu Gan said to everyone around him.

With the surroundings quiet, every member was focusing on trying to detect any noise. Liu Gan’s hearing was the best among all of them by several factors. He held his breath and listened once again, but he still wasn’t able to discern any of the faint whistling noise that Qian An and Han GuangMing had said they’d heard.

Liu Gan looked at others, they shook their head. Including Yin He, she also wasn’t able to hear it.

“I definitely heard it, then Squad Leader Han heard it too. I don’t know why the sound has suddenly disappeared,” Qian An said with an embarrassed expression.

“I can’t hear it anymore either, but I also feel that… the faint sound might not be related to the death of LuChen Wang, so if we tried to tie those two events together then we might be led astray,” Han GuangMing expressed his views.

“Why would you say that?” Zhang ShengLi asked Han GuangMing.

“The noise came from outside the back door, the rear courtyard is in that direction, but LuChen Wang had died in the lobby, which is in the complete opposite direction. When LuChen Wang was being killed, we were by the rear door tracking the source of the sound. So the sound shouldn’t be related to the Variant Zombie killing Little LuChen,” Han GuangMing said. Ever since LuChen Wang had been killed, Han GuangMing’s had been intensely analyzing the situation in his head.

“What happens if there are two Variants? Both cooperating together to commit the crime, one to distract us and the other to pick us off,” Zhang ShengLi speculated.

“If it tried to distract us, why wouldn’t it make a more obvious sound? The sound we heard was very faint, if it wasn’t for Qian An notifying me, I wouldn’t have heard it at all. So I feel like your idea that it was to distract us, doesn’t fit logically.” Han GuangMing shook his head.  

“Ah, when I was in college I loved to practice qigong and yoga, so when I was sitting with LuChen Wang in the lobby. There were periods of time when we didn’t have anything to talk about, so I took that opportunity to practice my qigong. I hadn’t expected to hear that faint whistling noise, so I thought I was going crazy and had hallucinated the sound! When I stopped my qigong exercise, I was still able to hear it coming from the direction of the back door. That was when I was able to confirm that there was a sound, but LuChen Wang didn’t believe me. Only when Squad Leader Han had heard it, it proved that I wasn’t hallucinating,” Qian An quickly chimed in.

“When you were in the real world practicing qigong, did your hearing also improve?” Liu Gan asked Qian An.

“Yes, I practice this type of qigong very often in the real world. I felt that my hearing was better than many people,” Qian An quickly responded.

“This explains it, Qian An was able to hear the noise because he practices qigong regularly. Han GuangMing was also able to hear the noise because he had advanced to Level 5 and his hearing had improved.” Liu Gan nodded.

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