Matryoshka Off-Limits Chapter 50

Chapter 50 Big Factory

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The smile on Wen Shi’s face was even colder than the night. He took out his phone and dialled Tu Bianxi, who surprisingly picked up the call.

The signal was bad, and the voice kept breaking due to the crackling of electricity.

“Pei Wenwei, you schemed against me… I would never… even in the afterlife…”

When Wen Shi was forced to hand over his employee badge, his acting skills were impeccable, completely shifting Tu Bianxi’s attention to the shuttle bus.

Wen Shi had heard this threat countless times. He halted and looked up, putting his phone on speaker mode and asked his teammates loudly:

“Did you hear that?”

It was a muffled sound of flesh being pierced, something that was rarely heard in real life but familiar to players.

The high-pitched scream was amplified infinitely on speaker mode, indicating that something unfortunate happened to the doll-faced girl from Tu Bianxi’s team.

Wen Shi narrowed his eyes, enjoying the moment, and asked in a light tone, “Tu Bianxi, why aren’t you dead yet?”

After a few seconds, he laughed and said, “You will die.”

The game meticulously designed many night tasks, guiding players towards a perfect dead end during their difficult patrols to obtain employee badges.

That certainty not only reached the other end of the phone call but also turned into an invisible pressure surrounding those nearby. Among Wen Shi’s teammates, Zhou Xiaochun, who was closest to him, felt a chill in his heart. He belonged to a large guild and should have gone back to compile Pei Wenwei’s information to submit to the guild. However, now he hesitated. From Tu Bianxi’s words, it was evident that this person’s downfall was closely related to Pei Wenwei.

Whether he should risk offending Pei Wenwei and provide information to the guild became a question for Zhou Xiaochun.

In any case, Zhou Xiaochun refrained from viewing Wen Shi through the lens of a newbie, which was precisely the intended impact of the latter.

The communication was interrupted.

Listening to the hurried busy tone, Wen Shi sneered and put his phone away.

This call aroused fear in everyone. After hanging up, Wen Shi headed straight to the cafeteria.

While passing by Liu Yuan, she felt a mix of fear and an irresistible urge to glance at his ears. Setting aside everything else, they appeared… quite soft.

The cafeteria.

Lv Tang lay weakly on the bench, never expecting that one day he would voluntarily steal meat from the cafeteria to eat.

With no chef around, he could only cook it briefly and swallow it, almost being driven away by the strong fishy smell. Just as he managed to recover a bit, he saw his teammates coming in.

Ji Yuanzhi briefly explained what had just happened and asked, “Do you want to go to the sanatorium with us or wait here?”

Lv Tang’s attention was entirely on Wen Shi’s swaying tail, causing his surprise to diminish a bit upon hearing that the sanatorium was located under the dormitory building.

Knowing that not explaining would lead to misunderstandings, Wen Shi didn’t want to be constantly speculated about the reason for his body changes. He simply said, “It’s a side effect of a certain item. It will disappear soon.”

Unsure whether it was true or not, Lv Tang got up and said, “I’ll go with you guys.”

The broadcast outside kept emphasizing the air pollution index for tomorrow, so hiding underground might be better.

Wen Shi wasn’t surprised by his decision. The air pollution was so severe that even the Wandering Corpse was affected. Worried about the Wandering Corpse’s rationality, Wen Shi had taken him back early.

The riots had subsided, and the dormitory building was quiet inside and out.

As everyone held their breath while climbing the stairs, the broadcast unexpectedly sounded again, startling everyone.

“Breaking news, the suspect in the factory manager’s murder, Jian Qingrong, has been arrested and will be sent to the sanatorium for contamination inspection.”

This name had appeared on the broadcast more than once. Liu Yuan couldn’t help but ask, “Does he like you?”

Despite having the most agile cat-like body, Wen Shi accidentally slipped upon hearing that.

Liu Yuan: “Otherwise, there’s no reason for him to cooperate with you in killing the factory manager.”

Wen Shi stopped and said seriously, “You must be cautious if you encounter Jian Qingrong in the sanatorium. You’ve probably seen his picture on the bulletin board.”

Liu Yuan’s half-joking demeanor turned serious, realizing that this matter might not be simple.

Perhaps because the new employees were on night duty, the dormitory building hadn’t been visited much by monsters tonight. The mottled and rough walls occasionally shed a piece, inexplicably adding to people’s psychological burden.

The dormitory used voice-activated lights, but nobody dared to make too much noise. In the dead silence, the sound of typing on phones echoed particularly crisp.

The light from the phone screen illuminated Wen Shi’s face, giving him a slightly eerie appearance at first glance.

Seeing him typing continuously without much concealment, the nearby teammates subconsciously leaned closer and glanced a few times.

【Don’t give up! Even in desperate situations, don’t give up! I’ve overcome dangerous situations before. I’m coming to rescue you (cheering.jpg).】

After editing, Wen Shi selected a list of contacts and pressed the group send button.

From the lack of a subject in the greeting, Ji Yuanzhi had a hunch, but seeing the group send operation, he couldn’t help but adjust his glasses. When Wen Shi looked up, their eyes met, and he said, “I sent it to the residents on the fourth floor.”

Everyone: Damn, a living sea king!

Facing the complicated gazes of everyone, Wen Shi remained calm.

Since they were all going to the sanatorium anyway, if he could save someone and gain some favorability in the process, it would show that he, as the dorm supervisor, was responsible.

Half a minute passed, but there was no notification of an increase in Jian Qingrong’s goodwill. Wen Shi furrowed his brows.

Jian Qingrong had never received kindness from others, so every time he made an effort, regardless of the motive, he could gain favorability from the other person.

But this time, there was no response, even though he was about to bravely enter the sanatorium.

“…It’s saturated.”

It seemed he needed to find a way to fill up the remaining bit of favorability and make the butterfly’s wings flutter again.

The fourth floor had no residents left, and even the former dorm supervisor was gone. The place was a mess. Wen Shi asked his teammates to wait there while he ran to Room 401, looked around, and found the drawers empty, with no sign of Jian Qingrong’s diaries.

“Let’s go.” He returned with disappointment and continued climbing the stairs.

On the fifth floor, the current dorm supervisor nervously waited in the staff room. When he heard footsteps, he felt his whole body tense up. The commotion downstairs had given him a strong sense of crisis. With the fourth-floor residents taken away, would it be their turn next? As the footsteps got closer, he cautiously peered out half of his head from the staff room, and his pupils reflected a group of unfamiliar faces.

“New employees?”

The fifth-floor dorm supervisor sighed in relief and picked up his electric baton, about to act out, “Who allowed you to come up?!”

“Hmm?” Faced with the aggression, Wen Shi tilted his head slightly.

The dorm supervisor’s raised arm halted mid-air as he stared at Wen Shi for a few seconds. He didn’t pay much attention to the cat ears, thinking it was some kind of headband. Instead, he hastily took out a portrait from his pocket and opened it. “Is it you, the well-connected brother?”

Wen Shi, who was prepared to resist, twitched his mouth. What kind of title was that?

The dorm supervisor only said four words, “Your brother came here.”

Came, fought, and left behind a portrait. Grabbing his hair, he made sure the dorm supervisor get a better look at the person in the portrait, so as not to cause trouble for his Big Brother.

Keeping a safe distance, Wen Shi asked, “I want to go to the top floor. What should I be careful of?”

The dorm supervisor replied, “That depends on how many floors your brother fought through.”

“……” The teenager had mentioned that the seventh-floor supervisor was afraid of him, locked the door specifically, and even informed him about the new employees’  night shift. It seemed going up to the seventh floor shouldn’t be a problem.

Wanting to quickly send this plague god away from the fifth floor, the dorm supervisor offered some advice, “Since you’ve decided to go up, don’t give up halfway.”

Wen Shi pondered for a moment and said, “Thanks.”

Seeing his figure disappear around the corner, the dorm supervisor finally felt relieved.

Zhou Xiaochun said, “Rushing upward with only knowledge of one death rule seems a bit reckless, doesn’t it?”

“Not giving up halfway” was probably advising them not to turn back.

Wen Shi replied, “The risks are manageable.”

Zhou Xiaochun glanced at Ji Yuanzhi, but to his surprise, Ji Yuanzhi shared the same view as Wen Shi, “The truly dense death rules are not here.”

The dormitory building seemed mysterious and terrifying because of the sanatorium below. The rules inside the building seemed manageable so far. For example, the first night they turned back several times, but that rule should only be effective when they go to floors they weren’t supposed to.

Most residents on the sixth floor had returned, with their doors tightly closed, so no one would obstruct them. The only trouble was the iron door blocking the way to the seventh floor.

Wen Shi lightly tapped the iron door with his fingers and threatened, “Either you open the door and let me go to the eighth floor, or I’ll have my little brother come and talk to you.”

His voice was faint, but he believed the seventh-floor supervisor could definitely hear him.

After about two minutes, a tall and thin figure approached in the dim surroundings and slowly opened the iron door under Wen Shi’s gaze.

The seventh-floor supervisor spoke with a hoarse voice, “Tonight, many sanatorium staff members are participating in an escort, making it the best time to go upstairs.”

Compared to the fifth-floor supervisor, he felt even more eerie, but his attitude seemed very submissive. Facing Wen Shi and the group, he wore a constantly pleasing smile.

The group continued climbing upstairs.

From behind, the seventh-floor supervisor suddenly called out to them, “Wait, take this electric baton with you.”

Zhou Xiaochun instinctively turned to get it, but Ji Yuanzhi grabbed his collar and gave him a chilling stare, “Didn’t you hear the previous supervisor? Don’t turn back.”

As Zhou Xiaochun was pulled over, he nearly lost his balance but was saved by Wen Shi’s long tail grabbing his waist just in time.

Zhou Xiaochun’s heart raced. After a while, he managed to choke out, “This is all a trap.”

The false compliance by the supervisor had fooled them, making them lower their guard.

The seventh-floor supervisor, unsuccessful in his attempt, returned lazily to the staff room, and the shadows on the adjacent wall elongated under the light.

Zhou Xiaochun closed his eyes and said, “The fifth-floor supervisor is more humane.”

Wen Shi nodded, remarking that the higher-level residents were almost like ghosts, while the residents on the fourth and fifth floors still seemed more human.

After that incident, everyone became more cautious.

However, one thing the seventh-floor supervisor predicted accurately was that many sanatorium staff were working the night shift, making tonight the most suitable opportunity.

The structure on the eighth floor differed from the lower levels. There was no staff room, and not even a single window could be seen, indirectly confirming Wen Shi’s judgment that the sanatorium staff dealt with monsters every day and didn’t need any supervisors to protect them.

The walls were swollen and bulging, and every crack oozed the smell of disinfectant. When inhaled, a faint odor of decay could be sensed. The trash bin in the corner was filled with discarded disposable gloves, and the flashlight revealed the sticky flesh stuck between the glove fingers.

Continuing forward a bit, Wen Shi finally saw the overall environment of the eighth floor.

The spacing between dormitories was not uniform. Some were very close, while others could easily fit two more rooms in between. After a quick scan, there was no sign of stairs leading to the ninth floor.

Wen Shi’s gaze lingered next to the fire hydrant, where a faintly lit panel displayed the time and temperature, similar to those in the workshop. At this moment, the top light on the panel started flashing rapidly. Wen Shi immediately whispered, “Back off quickly!”

A red light shone down, enveloping the area where Wen Shi and the others were, and a pipe emerged below the intelligent panel, spraying out a corrosive liquid.

“The heck!” Zhou Xiaochun darted away as fast as a rabbit, looking at the uneven ground with a shiver of fear. If he had been a moment slower, his skin might have become an accurate depiction of the floor.

The red light covered the intruders for the second time, and the alarm started ringing wildly, echoing with a buzzing sound in the silent corridor, making hearts pound in fear.

Several dormitory doors opened one after another. Even though it was nighttime, the sanatorium staff hadn’t removed their protective suits.

The group retreated to a corner.

Ji Yuanzhi said, “We’re in trouble.”

“How about we retreat for now?” Lv Tang was still not fully recovered and spoke weakly, “Go back to the seventh floor and discuss a plan.”


The sound of the iron door closing came from below.

The seventh-floor supervisor had locked the passage between two floors.


Lv Tang angrily said, “When we get the chance, I’ll definitely beat him up.”

Caught between staying or leaving, with footsteps getting closer, Wen Shi asked in a rapid voice, “Do we have any invisibility items?”

Lv Tang replied, “Yes, but the effect lasts no longer than two minutes, and there’s a cooldown period after each use.”

If the sanatorium staff lingered for a moment, they would surely spot them.

“Use it!” Wen Shi said decisively.

Lv Tang hesitated, “…but…”

Ji Yuanzhi suddenly said, “Try to delay for thirty seconds. I’ll try to find the entrance.”

Lv Tang’s gaze suddenly froze, not because of Ji Yuanzhi’s words, but because of something he saw, and his mouth opened in surprise.

The others followed his line of sight, and their expressions varied.

Wen Shi took out a blood-stained white coat from his backpack and put it on, donning a pair of vintage single-lens glasses, reverting to the appearance of Dr. Aaron. “Hide yourselves.”

Nearby, Liu Yuan hesitated to speak, “Doc…tor?”

The white coat, symbolizing saving lives, looked slightly out of place on Wen Shi. It gave him a slightly serious look that was unusual for him in everyday situations. The coat fit him well, but the scattered bloodstains on it made him appear both distant and out of sync.

Ji Yuanzhi: “The cat doctor, a rare species indeed.”

Surprisingly, he had a sharp tongue as well. Wen Shi’s eyelids twitched, and his ears also shook sensitively. In fact, the transformation skill had almost reached its limit, but the fading process took some time. His ears and tail gradually transitioned from solid to illusionary before completely disappearing.

It was estimated to take another minute or two, which should do.

Ji Yuanzhi asked about the important matter, “Do you want to join them?”

By “them,” he undoubtedly meant the staff of the sanatorium.

Just changing his appearance seemed a bit childish… Before the words were fully spoken, Ji Yuanzhi’s eyes narrowed as he saw the employee badge hanging on the person’s chest, confirming that he was indeed a doctor.

It couldn’t be a temporary fake. The in-game store wouldn’t sell it, indicating that it was likely genuine.

Wen Shi adopted a proud posture and adjusted the position of his single-lens glasses. “Call me Dr. Aaron.”

After saying that, he took a step forward on his own.

Lv Tang applied the invisibility item to himself while struggling to ask, “How many identities does he actually have?”

They were all new employees, so why would someone be both a dorm supervisor and a doctor?

No one could answer that question, and others were more concerned about whether this identity would be effective. After all, even if the employee badge was obtained from another instance, it wasn’t universally accepted currency and might not be useful everywhere.

The pace of the sanatorium staff was not fast. They walked leisurely, as if they were leisurely catching turtles in a jar. Four people went out together, with the middle two holding a rusty pair of long tongs.

“The lab happens to be in need of a little white mouse.”

“This one is mine.”

The two people on the outer side remained indifferent, quietly listening to their argument.

The two parties met at the staircase landing.

In the eyes of the sanatorium staff, Wen Shi’s peculiar ears and tail were like air, causing no ripples among them. Their focus was on something else: “The golden ratio, suitable for dissection.”

The interest of both sides was piqued, and a lizard-like forked tongue licked their lips. “After dissection, it can be made into a specimen. No, I want this one.”

The invisibility item had limited duration. Wen Shi had to take care of his teammates. He didn’t have time to listen to their nonsense, so he proactively extended his hand. “I am Dr. Aaron.”

This strange behavior of shaking hands stunned the four sanatorium staff.

“Frank Hospital sent me to inspect the work here.”

Wen Shi’s next sentence directly caused the sanatorium staff’s expressions to change. They suppressed the killing intent in their eyes and exchanged glances.

The sanatorium and Frank Hospital were closely related, and the staff wore protective suits with a capitalized ‘F’ logo. From their expressions at the moment, they must be aware of Frank Hospital.

The employee badge’s persuasiveness was not strong.

The staff still had doubts. Just as Wen Shi was considering whether to show the thank-you letter from the in-game patient, one of them suddenly snorted coldly. “Wait here, I’ll go online to check.”

Wen Shi’s heart tightened slightly. He hadn’t expected they would have internet access.

The two different instances made him wonder if there might be records about himself. If there were, it would be terrifying, as it could be from centuries-old doctors.

Under the stairs, a few teammates could feel a hint of tension from Wen Shi’s tense back.

Ji Yuanzhi lightly nudged the person beside him with his elbow, signaling everyone to prepare for battle. If they were exposed, they would implement the stranded plan to hold back the sanatorium staff and search for the entrance.

Urgent footsteps echoed in the corridor.

The departing staff returned quickly. This time, one of them took the initiative to shake hands with Wen Shi. “Welcome, Dr. Aaron.”

The colleague who had thought about how to make him into a specimen felt incredulous. Could it be that this was the person sent down from above?

“The photo and name match,” the staff said, “Dr. Aaron is excellent. He has experience in providing psychological counseling to senior nobles.”

Wen Shi glanced at his phone nonchalantly. A minute had passed.

“Originally, I was just conducting a secret inspection, but the recent situation has worsened significantly. Take me to the sanatorium first. I want to have a detailed discussion with your director.”

When he mentioned the director, the four staff members shivered simultaneously, as if they were in awe of the esteemed Director Jin.

One person concealed their surprise and went to the smart panel, inputting a string of numbers. The third door automatically opened. Before Wen Shi could be astonished, he saw another door inside, equipped with a smart lock, and an employee entered a different set of numbers.

Throughout the process, the staff carefully shielded the other hand. Fortunately, Wen Shi had the Gatekeeper Ghost beside him who quietly informed him of the stolen password.

Wen Shi reached behind his back and sent the password message hidden in his sleeve on his phone.

When there were only ten seconds left before the two minutes were up, he followed the sanatorium staff.

As the obstructive cat ears and tail finally disappeared completely, Wen Shi vowed not to use this skill lightly for a short period.

Inside was a winding staircase, a total of eighteen steps, and at the end of the steps was pitch black, resembling an abyss.

The sanatorium staff handed Wen Shi a headlamp. Even though he wasn’t afraid of heights, he couldn’t help but gasp when he looked down.

Beyond the eighteen-step staircase, there was an open elevator shaft with no platform in between. A slight misstep could result in falling into a meat paste.

Leaning against the side wall, Wen Shi looked down into the elevator shaft. There was no elevator car inside, only a few dangling steel cables. About half a meter down, there was a ladder for climbing.

“Why isn’t there an elevator?”

The sanatorium staff gave a sinister smile, “You’ll know once you go down.”

Wen Shi was on guard against being pushed from behind, but the staff didn’t seem to have that intention and willingly demonstrated how to climb down.

“Come on.” The staff called him enthusiastically.

For an ordinary person, climbing all the way down would be impossible without some skills and stamina.

Wen Shi didn’t have the confidence to descend smoothly into the dark abyss.

“……” Were they playing with him?

Just after swearing not to use the skill, Wen Shi reluctantly spent three hundred points to renew his skill for another half an hour.

During the descent, the wind was strong, and the ladder occasionally made creaking sounds as if it were a shoddy construction. Wen Shi couldn’t relax for a moment, his attention focused not only on the ladder beneath his feet but also on the inner walls around him. They were covered in various strange patterns and characters, some of which he had never seen before, appearing ancient and mysterious, making him feel dizzy if he stared at them for too long.

The sanatorium staff said, “The reason we didn’t install an elevator is to prevent monsters from coming up directly.”

Wen Shi asked, “Are these runes used for exorcism?”

“Exactly, they were here even when the old director was still around.”

In the empty environment, every time they spoke, they could hear the echo.

The elevator shaft was dark and damp. Water dripped from above, seeping slowly into Wen Shi’s scalp, causing him to wrinkle his nose in discomfort.

He realized the benefits of his transformation. At least in climbing, he had a unique advantage. Wen Shi climbed more smoothly than the sanatorium staff.

In the bewildered gazes of the four, he quickly created a significant distance between them.

“Damn.” It was Wen Shi who had feline features, but the sanatorium staff stared at him with their eyes wide open like copper bells.

When he finally reached the bottom, Wen Shi’s clothes were completely soaked, beads of sweat rolling down from his forehead, passing over the wounds under his clothes that had just scabbed, causing itchiness and pain.

“This damn place…” It was clearly not meant for humans.

Panting heavily, Wen Shi saw the sanatorium staff who came down after him press a button beside the ladder, revealing a whole new world before him.

The sanatorium had multiple levels, and staff in protective suits moved back and forth. Here, there was a sophisticated air purification system. Since entering this instance, Wen Shi hadn’t smelled such fresh air for a long time.

With no time to observe further, he noticed some familiar figures not far ahead. He raised an eyebrow, seeing residents from his own floor.

These people had their hands tied and securely bound, crying out non-stop about not being contaminated.

“Just in time. We need more hands for blood samples.”

Upon seeing someone coming down, the person responsible for escorting the residents completely ignored their despair and coldly issued the order.

The escort frowned suddenly, his unfriendly gaze fixed on Wen Shi. “Who is he?”

The staff went over to explain for a couple of sentences.

Wen Shi waited in place, thinking about how the residents from the fourth floor, who had taken the bus, ended up secretly transferred to this location. It indicated that there were other secret passages leading to the sanatorium from the outside.

When the residents from the fourth floor saw Wen Shi, their expressions of terror couldn’t conceal their astonishment.

While on the bus, their hands were not bound, and they had read the few messages sent by this dorm supervisor.. However, they realized that no one would come to save them.

…They were doomed.

…They were certain to die.

In profound despair, none of them had expected the dorm supervisor to actually come, risking his life to rescue them!

A few individuals couldn’t hold back their emotions. Tears shimmered in their eyes as they tried to speak, “Super… “

“Shh.” The cat doctor’s fair index finger pressed against his lips, accompanied by a reassuring smile, urging them to stay quiet.

【I’m here.】

Wen Shi mouthed the words.

“Note: The favorability of Li Nantian and Sun Cheng from Room 404 increased by +100.”

“Note: Zhao Ze from Room 406 increased his favorability toward you by +100.”

“Note: The resident from Room 408…”

Listening to the continuous system announcements, Wen Shi maintained his smile. Of course, who could refuse a selfless lifeline in moments of despair?

These residents wouldn’t, and neither would Jian Qingrong.

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