Matryoshka Off-Limits Chapter 42

Chapter 42 Big Factory

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After a good meal, everyone’s Soul Purity began to rise. Surprisingly, Wen Shi’s Soul Purity hardly went up, almost as if reaching a hundred and one was the most it could do.

It was confirmed that only meat dishes helped increase Soul Purity. So, he stopped eating meat.

“Why aren’t you eating?” Lv Tang asked, devouring his meat. His Soul Purity had dropped quite a bit that morning due to his heavy workload, causing strong hallucinations.

Wen Shi replied, “This meat doesn’t taste right, too strong.”

Looking at the color, they had definitely used enough seasonings.

Ji Yuanzhi said, “It has the same smell as the hearts we cleaned.”

He spoke with a strong sense of confidence.

After he spoke, everyone looked at the meat, reminded of the hearts they had worked on during the day, causing a powerful wave of nausea to rise in their throats.

“It’s just the same scent, doesn’t necessarily mean the same creature,” Ji Yuanzhi said. “This piece of meat is even purer.”

He pondered for a moment, searching for a fitting comparison before he continued, “It’s like the difference between juice squeezed from fresh fruit and artificially blended. This meat is natural, and natural things are healthier.”

The effects of the Beautiful Soul Elixir were significant. These foods should be consumed in smaller amounts.


Not comforted at all.

Lv Tang felt a bit nauseated. His mental clarity remained intact, yet he couldn’t help but make unfavorable associations with the Pure-Hearted Beasts.

Ji Yuanzhi remained calm as he sat there eating.

Wen Shi tapped his fingers on the table, contemplating the metaphor.

Natural versus artificial.

Looking at the surface, the hearts they dealt with were related to ‘humans,’ while the meat they were eating came from animals other than humans. He wasn’t sure if he was overthinking this interpretation. Wen Shi looked down at his meal, thinking of a way to gradually make Ji Yuanzhi let his guard down and extract information about his skill.

Only in this way could he ensure his own safety to the maximum extent. After all, game points were valuable, and the investor’s funds were not only a secure investment but also a definite way to preserve value.

Wen Shi was curious about what calculations Ji Yuanzhi was really making.

The senior employees were at another table, enjoying their meal heartily. Lv Tang didn’t dare to overindulge. After his hallucination symptoms subsided, he put down his chopsticks.

The afternoon marked another work shift.

Workshop Two.

From attire to requirements, working here wasn’t as strict as Workshop One.

The morning’s practice slaughter was just a warm-up. Now came the bold attempt. He glanced at the work schedule posted on the wall, confirming that Workshop Two would send someone to Workshop One for resupply later.

This was an excellent opportunity.

Up ahead, Overseer Zhao was arranging the upcoming workflow when a sudden pang of pain hit his mind. He could clearly sense the process of his memory dulling. Overseer Zhao forcefully tapped his head, as if trying to drill a hole through it.

After finally improving somewhat, a figure was approaching him. Originally, Overseer Zhao was going to reprimand the person for leaving their work post without permission, but his subconscious told him that he didn’t want to do that.

“Let us help you with the deliveries,” Tu Bianxi and the Seventh Commandment member approached, taking the initiative. “We can handle the manual labor involved in moving things.”

After a brief hesitation, Overseer Zhao agreed to their request.

On the way, Tu Bianxi cautiously probed, “Aaron’s little brother…”

As soon as the words were spoken, Overseer Zhao’s subconscious began to slip from his grasp. He grew irritable, anguished, and even contorted… his face distorting.

Tu Bianxi had no choice but to give up on asking about this.

Just half an hour into the shift, Overseer Zhao arrived with Tu Bianxi and the Seventh Commandment member. The puppet on Tu Bianxi’s shoulder was also wearing a roughly tailored, mini-sized clean suit.

Upon seeing Overseer Zhao, Hai Sheng immediately stood up from his chair in the resting area.

It was evident that Overseer Zhao had something to discuss privately with him. He instructed Tu Bianxi and the Seventh Commandment member to go handle the deliveries. The two of them each took a cart and headed toward the cleaning area.

Seeing players toiling by the sink, a hint of irony played in Tu Bianxi’s smile.

Ji Yuanzhi paused and glanced at Overseer Zhao in the distance, squinting as if he had realized something. “Advanced puppetry skills—could he really reach this level?”

At first, the teammates didn’t fully comprehend, but when they followed Ji Yuanzhi’s gaze, they realized a frightening truth. Overseer Zhao, managing at the grassroots level, wasn’t just an ordinary NPC. Tu Bianxi likely possessed the ability to manipulate key NPCs.

Tu Bianxi’s approach to handling things was always effective. “Still scheming about how to boost your slack off points? Forget it, it’s not possible.”

He had spent a considerable amount of points, activated advanced puppetry techniques, and controlled Overseer Zhao to come here and instruct Hai Sheng, keeping a close watch on every employee.

Unfortunately, this level of control was too shallow to make Overseer Zhao defy the work regulations. Workshop Two only came to collect goods from Workshop One at four-thirty every day. Otherwise, they could have easily rendered them helpless since morning.

Without any warning, in the blink of an eye, Ji Yuanzhi smoothly seized a whip that was usually fastened to Liu Yuan’s waist. With a powerful swing, he ruthlessly aimed it directly at Tu Bianxi.

The whole process unfolded too quickly, almost like a passing breeze for Liu Yuan. Before she could react, Ji Yuanzhi had already lashed out with the whip.

Players were forbidden from killing each other, so Tu Bianxi didn’t anticipate Ji Yuanzhi’s sudden attack. He sensed that the force behind the whip was formidable. He instinctively dodged, but inexplicably froze in place. As the whip came dangerously close and he met the gaze of those shrewd eyes behind the glasses, Tu Bianxi’s expression changed. “You’re playing me…”

Unfortunately, it was too late. The whip’s tail brushed past the doll’s eyes, causing long-dried yellow liquid to trickle out instantly.

As Ji Yuanzhi retracted the whip, a gust of air splashed a few drops of the yellow liquid into the nearby open freezer.

Tu Bianxi cursed inwardly. Workshop One was clearly meticulous about hygiene. The pungent liquid contamination was undoubtedly a breach of the rules.

“Warning! Non-workshop personnel are compromising environmental hygiene.”

“Warning! Non-workshop personnel are compromising environmental hygiene.”

The smart panel had been restored, continuously broadcasting the alerts.

The doll on Tu Bianxi’s shoulder cracked inch by inch until he finally twisted off its head with his own hands. He, too, suffered the consequences of the rules, feeling a severe itch in his throat. Spitting blood would also contaminate the environment, so he forced himself to swallow it back down.

Liu Yun immediately stashed the whip back into her backpack. Hai Sheng and Overseer Zhao, alerted by the alarm, approached with stern expressions. Overseer Zhao wasn’t much trouble. A part of his consciousness was currently being influenced by Tu Bianxi. Hai Sheng, on the other hand, was fuming. If not for Overseer Zhao’s presence, he would have erupted on the spot.

Ji Yuanzhi played the victim card, “He accidentally let the contaminated water drip into the freezer…”

A hint of malice flashed in Tu Bianxi’s eyes.

The rapidly dropping favorability restored a part of Overseer Zhao’s self-awareness. He coldly issued an order, “Quickly load up the cargo and leave.”

Tu Bianxi walked to the end of the conveyor belt with an unpleasant expression, placing the packed raw materials onto the cart, then left with the Seventh Commandment member.

Once Overseer Zhao and Hai Sheng returned to the rest area, Liu Yun whispered, “How did you know Tu Bianxi wouldn’t dodge?”

“Showing off is pointless. He came over specifically to exert psychological pressure on us. The Seventh Commandment member’s skill is【Pressure】, which amplifies people’s negative emotions.”

Ji Yuanzhi’s actions were too swift. Tu Bianxi’s first instinct was undoubtedly that he was influenced by【Pressure】, possibly leading to hallucinations or auditory illusions. He might have tried to use the rule against harming each other to punish Ji Yuanzhi. However, within a mere three seconds, when he finally considered an alternative explanation, it was already too late.

Ji Yuanzhi resumed cleaning the heart. “It’s a pity I couldn’t finish him off completely.”

Tu Bianxi’s puppet doll shouldered half of the death rule consequences.

Liu Yun sighed. “At least he achieved his goal.”

After seeing Overseer Zhao off, Hai Sheng immediately headed towards the work area, carrying a light-blocking board. It was clear he intended to strictly guard against new employees slacking off.

Wen Shi remained composed. “Don’t worry, we’ve got this in the bag.”

Liu Yun’s eyes brightened “Has the scoring been announced?”

Wen Shi remained confident, “Not yet.”


In the morning, the senior employees almost completed Wen Shi’s day’s worth of work. In the afternoon, he worked quite sluggishly, but thanks to the relationship cultivated using Jian Qingrong’s hard-earned money, Hai Sheng refrained from reprimanding him.

Half an hour before the end of the shift, Wen Shi, after a long time, finally heard the notification sound.

To be exact, everyone received a game prompt.


The notification sound came suddenly, causing Wen Shi and the others to instinctively glance at the time. They confirmed it wasn’t quitting time yet. The game was more accurate than anyone. It wouldn’t prematurely end a round of team battle tasks.

“Attention all players, attention all players—”

When the game deliberately repeats a sentence, it’s definitely not a good sign. Everyone subconsciously held their breath.

The cold prompt tone lacked any emotional color:

“Starting from this moment, the difficulty of the instance【Big Factory】will be adjusted from A+ to S. The A+ danger zone, the sanatorium, will open to all players ahead of time. Please be aware that the danger level in this area may escalate to S at any time. Please be aware that there are unsolvable death rules in the sanatorium. Please keep in mind Big Factory’s advocacy for beautiful souls.”

The series of warnings sent shivers down their spines.

“The higher the risk, the greater the reward. 【Big Factory】is a treasure map, so explore it actively! After this round ends, rewards will be correspondingly increased for all players.”

“Due to the difficulty upgrade, here’s a special hint: The Gatekeeper.”

“At three in the morning, place an offering outside any dormitory building, burn joss paper, and offer one strand of your hair while silently calling out to the Gatekeeper. This grants you an opportunity to communicate with the Gatekeeper Ghost. Note that if your offering fails to satisfy the Gatekeeper, he won’t only come to you voluntarily but also take you away.”


The virtual world.

Since Wen Shi entered the【Big Factory】instance, it immediately attracted attention from all sides.

The happiest were undoubtedly the Puppet Guild. Without spending a single point, a guild member and a newcomer had already ventured into an instance.

Among them, Ji Yuanzhi, stood out as one of the top members in the Puppet Guild… With various unstable factors combined, most players had a subtle feeling from the start that this instance would level up. But no one expected it to happen so soon. The in-game time displayed only a day and a half had passed since the instance began!

The square wasn’t crowded. High-difficulty instances usually took a long time. Even major guilds hadn’t assigned anyone to monitor it. They were planning to take action in a few days.

S-level instances automatically scrolled to the top of the large screen. Currently, there were only a few ongoing S-tier runs, making the newly added【Big Factory】instance particularly eye-catching.

Some players couldn’t resist moving closer to the screen for a second confirmation.

“How did it… level up so quickly?”

He snapped a photo and urgently sent it to the guild. Several other players followed suit. In the virtual world, news spread rapidly, and soon, the square became bustling with activity.

“It leveled up?!”

Receiving a message was one thing, witnessing it with their own eyes was another.

“Wow, look at the player IDs. It’s only been a short while, and six out of twenty players are already dead.”

The increase in instance difficulty relied on the degree of exploration.

Often, players would discover secrets and unlock hidden maps as they delved deeper into instances, which in turn led to an overall increase in difficulty.

Who could tell them what they could possibly explore in just a day and a half?!

Workshop cleaning area.

Hai Sheng felt stomach discomfort and couldn’t resist heading to the restroom.

Hands trembling, Zhou Xiaochun nearly slipped the heart from his grasp to the ground. His teeth chattered as he said, “I knew… I knew this day would come.”

Starting the game with the hellishly difficult onslaught of monsters besieging the dormitory building was an ominous omen.

However, in Zhou Xiaochun’s plan, the instance upgrade should have at least waited until the later stages, allowing them ample preparation before it happened.

Ji Yuanzhi paused briefly and said, “It might not be entirely a bad thing.”

Once the initial shock subsided, Liu Yun hesitated before nodding in agreement, “At least we gained a crucial piece of information: the sanatorium is very dangerous.”

If they had entered the sanatorium following the normal progression, they might have chosen to explore extensively early on, potentially leading to a disastrous outcome.

Wen Shi asked in surprise, “Doesn’t the system provide a warning before entering a high-difficulty area?”

When he tried to go to the second floor of Frank Hospital, the game had issued a warning in advance.

Liu Yun shook her head, “Unless it’s a newbie’s first game, the game won’t coddle you with such tender hints.”

After that, no matter what type of map they entered, even if it was S+, the game would simply watch as they met their heroic end.

“Shh.” Liu Yuan reminded them to stop talking. “Hai Sheng is back.”

The upgrade in instance difficulty hung over the workshop like a heavy cloud. For a long time afterward, everyone’s spirits couldn’t focus.

At six in the afternoon, the eight-hour workday officially ended. Hai Sheng, having stayed awake for a day and a night, didn’t want to linger for even a minute longer, “Those scheduled for the night shift, go to the guardhouse to get the night shift duty manual. Gather at the entrance of Workshop Three by ten o’clock tonight.”

He left after giving everyone a pep talk, “Young people, don’t be afraid of hard work. Doing more won’t harm you.”

Everyone’s thoughts were far from his words. As the final second ticked away, the game promptly began announcing the results of the first round of team battle tasks, starting with the more advantageous Workshop Two:

“Player 372543 was slacking off and eating out during work hours, penalty of thirty points. Player 408762 was flying a kite on the rooftop, penalty of ten points. Player 408266 was slacking off and playing with a phone during work hours, penalty of eight points…… Total of eighty-two points for Newcomer Team Two.”

Currently, Workshop Two seemed to be in the lead. Wen Shi and the others were closely monitored by Hai Sheng in the afternoon, leaving no opportunity for them to rack up points. Fortunately, individually speaking, Workshop Two hadn’t opened up a particularly wide gap, it all depended on whether Wen Shi could make a comeback.

Finally, it was Wen Shi’s turn, and as always, the announcement began with the person who had the highest team score—the first number was all too familiar to everyone.

“Player 460872 was slacking off during work hours and conspired to murder Big Factory’s manager, penalty of eighty points…”

Wen Shi froze.

Everyone paused for a moment. Liu Yuan turned her head slightly, “What are you staring at?”

As if it wasn’t something you did.


Wen Shi hadn’t expected the factory manager to actually be dead. Though he had wanted to eliminate the factory manager and infect him further using Jian Qingrong’s abilities, he knew it wouldn’t be so easy to succeed. Wen Shi had only intended to manipulate the factory manager with Jian Qingrong’s help, but how could this top person turn out to be so vulnerable?!

Whatever the subsequent prompt said, whether it was Workshop One or Workshop Two, no one paid attention anymore.

Players from Workshop One collectively stared with wide eyes at this horrifying culprit.

Some people sneaked snacks during work, some played games… but how could someone take advantage of slacking off to knock off the boss?!

Committing a crime while slacking off?!

What was even scarier was that he knew to find an accomplice and create an alibi.

At this point, they couldn’t just ignore the situation. Wen Shi cleared his throat and calmly made a gesture, “Everyone, let’s broaden our perspective a bit.”

He stood upright, looking pleased, “See? The total score of the Tu Bian Xi team combined is only as much as I score alone.”

Before he could finish speaking, a chilling prompt tone sounded in his ears again—

“Player 460872, you have murdered the judge for the selection of outstanding new employees.”

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2 thoughts on “Matryoshka Off-Limits Chapter 42”

  1. wen shi: look, i can explain—
    the system: no, you cant

    HELP, im howling at how this chapter ended. theres SO much that goes into making it that makes it so hilarious, prime one being wen shi not expecting the big boss to kick the bucket like a mayfly. as much as i dont want wen shi to struggle, i hope he fuckin squirms lmaoo. the other players have gotta make a connection between this happening, and the upgrade from A+ to S.
    also, a part of me wonders if jiang qingrong is the ML. this story is so good, and ive been on the lookout for the potential ML this whole time. like, a warning for favorability increase??? looks like a flag to me


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