Matryoshka Off-Limits Chapter 52

Chapter 52 Big Factory

<Previous Chapter<Table of Contents>Next Chapter>

The elevator was moving down surprisingly slowly, possibly due to the presence of a group of ghosts.

Wen Shi was thinking about the videotape. This quest was undoubtedly designed to deceive and trouble players, but it certainly held important information. Horror aside, the sanatorium staff had openly acknowledged that the videotape was valuable research material.

What was the reason for the need to specially document the reasons for the deaths of Big Factory workers?

Wen Shi calmly observed the surrounding ghosts.

Most of them had a solid presence, like the red-dressed ghost, the door-knocking ghost, the hanging ghost, and others. Only a few of them were intangible.

The elevator had a tight space, but the creatures beside the red-dressed ghost instinctively kept a slight distance. Even the two ghosts previously kicked down didn’t dare to resist, proving that the red-dressed ghost held superior power among the ghosts.

Feeling an unusual gaze, the red-dressed ghost turned her neck a full one hundred and eighty degrees to glance in his direction.

One of her eye sockets lacked an eyeball, leaving just an empty hollow. Whether her gaze fell on humans or ghosts, anyone caught in it couldn’t help but avert their eyes. However, Wen Shi didn’t. Instead, he responded with a friendly smile.

The genuine and heartfelt smile made the red-dressed ghost pause for a moment.

“You’re the best ghost I’ve ever encountered,” said Wen Shi.

The blood bride’s blessing made female NPCs even more repulsed by Wen Shi’s presence than those who were prettier than her. So far, only the red-dressed ghost was willing to spare more than a glance.

With this realization, Wen Shi felt even more touched, almost resorting to giving a cat-tail heart gesture.

【Note: Ghost A’Ling’s favorability towards you +5.】

From the red-dressed ghost’s response, Wen Shi concluded that, like the Old Man Ghost, she retained her sanity after death. The door-knocking ghost did too, but not many. Once they arrived, they kept knocking on the elevator door incessantly. The few drifting spirits had even less logic, constantly muttering, “Need meat, must eat meat.”

Already in a famished state, hearing their calls made Wen Shi’s stomach and intestines spasm.

The elevator stopped on the second floor, the response a bit sluggish. After it halted, the doors didn’t open immediately, causing the door-knocking ghost to impatiently create thumping noises.

Wen Shi’s ears twitched, picking up sounds from outside. When there was finally a sign that the doors would open, his reaction wasn’t to move forward, but to step back. A strong, bloody scent drifted in. In a sanatorium with a sophisticated air filtration system, this odor indicated trouble.

Once again, Wen Shi felt the change in his body’s response. Before, smelling this kind of scent would’ve made him feel nauseous, but now, it oddly heightened his appetite.

Alongside the foul wind came a sanatorium staff member, tumbling in.

Expecting a harsh impact upon hitting the ground, he realized there was no pain as he didn’t even fall down.

Turning around, he saw a monster from the elevator. The earlier pursuer, upon seeing the crowded elevator, surprisingly turned and fled.

“Help…” The sanatorium staff member struggled desperately to escape, but the red-dressed ghost hanging upside-down seized his neck. The surrounding creatures eagerly pounced on his body, engaging in a frenzy of tearing and biting.

“Excuse me, excuse me,” Wen Shi gasped, squeezing out of the elevator.

He had no intention of helping. Firstly because he couldn’t stop the creatures from feeding, and secondly, these sanatorium staff members weren’t virtuous. The screams behind him quickly ceased, leaving only a heap of skeletal remains.

The elevator was roughly in the middle of sections A and B. The sign for section B lay on the ground, smeared with sticky flesh and blood, whether from the staff member or the monsters, it was hard to tell.

The narrow corridor was in disarray. Not far away, a sanatorium staff member wielded an electric baton, capturing the ‘Pure-Hearted Beasts’ that had been released.

“Seems like the Gatekeeper Ghost was successful.”

Wen Shi snapped off some hair and burned it along with paper money.

The offering ritual was supposed to be performed at three in the morning, and that time had long passed. Wen Shi wasn’t sure if this method could still connect him to the Gatekeeper Ghost.


Medical Examination Area.

Since parting ways with Wen Shi, the players’ journey had been full of twists and turns.

Before entering the elevator shaft, Ji Yuanzhi had a plan in mind. After the cooldown period of their first invisibility item expired, he led the group to descend. When they reached the abyss’s end and spotted buttons on the wall, Ji Yuanzhi emphasized the need to use the invisibility item for safety.

This proved to be an exceptionally wise decision. The secret door opened instantly, revealing the path to the sanatorium.

Coincidentally, there was an outbreak of chaos upstairs, and all the staff rushed to support. In order to explore, the players followed suit.

Until the invisibility item’s effect wore off, they were forced into combat.

“The Gatekeeper Ghost is here too.”

Ji Yuanzhi’s glasses were unique, allowing him to see ghosts. When he spotted the Gatekeeper Ghost, he realized this turmoil was connected to someone who couldn’t escape.

Chaos, combat, howls… the sounds of electric batons striking decaying bodies and teeth tearing into flesh intertwined. Even the toughest, like Lv Tang, wished he had three heads and six arms to cope.

“What’s the situation?” Lv Tang fended off a monster, wiping away blood splatters from his face.

Ghosts lacked humanity. The Gatekeeper Ghost had initially planned a kidnapping scheme, intending to lure these people to the third floor to attract the attention of the ghosts, ultimately replacing Wen Shi. However, he suddenly caught a whiff of burning paper money. “Master’s big brother is calling me! He’s coming, he’s coming!”

He is still alive!

The Gatekeeper Ghost closed his eyes to sense. The distance between the two sides was very close, not even requiring a deliberate approach.

Lv Tang, engrossed in battle with the creatures, felt a sense of relief. At some point, Pei Wenwei’s presence seemed to provide a sense of safety.

Big Sis, who had been saved by Wen Shi, felt the same way.

Zhou Xiaochun and Zhang Suihe exchanged a smile. “Pei Wenwei might be ruthless, but he always manages to break free from the game’s patterns and make the right judgments.”

As they all raised their heads to look over, at the other end of the corridor, cat doctor remained firmly in the spotlight. Dozens of ghosts surrounded Wen Shi. Among them, the red-dressed ghost was the most ferocious. Her black hair and endless brain matter extended along the ground, brutally devouring any creatures in her path.

Wen Shi’s condition was visibly abnormal. He had a bell around his neck. Upon seeing the shattered remains of the creatures on the ground, he wore an eerie expression of dripping desire.

As if sensing something, Wen Shi lifted his eyelids, locking onto the group of players. His almond-shaped eyes gleamed with a cold hue amidst a sea of blood-red.

You all look… quite delicious.

He suppressed the urge to devour, but couldn’t help licking his lips.

After adjusting his breath, Wen Shi regained his usual expression, energetically waving his arms. “Hey there, friends, I’m here!”

The excitement in the players’ eyes vanished instantly. Wen Shi stepped forward, they stepped back, almost chanting “retreat” in unison.

The scent of the living was always the most delectable. Some ghosts couldn’t control themselves and lunged towards the players.

Wen Shi immediately focused his cat-like pupils on the red-dressed ghost, who enveloped two fierce ghosts charging ahead with brain matter. In an instant, the ghosts seemed to dissolve in sulfuric acid, quickly merging with the brain matter.

Intimidated by the red-dressed ghost’s presence, other ghosts dared not make a move. She turned her neck to look at Wen Shi. “You can have them.”

Apparently, she thought Wen Shi’s earlier hungry look was because he wanted to eat.

Wen Shi forced a smile. “I’m into hoarding provisions.”

The red-dressed ghost wasn’t overly concerned about Wen Shi. She hadn’t been active for so long and finally encountered someone sweet-tongued. She’d just look after him a bit.

There were many sanatorium staff members in the medical examination area, and she held a strong grudge against them. Her dark hair entangled a few moving targets, and the red-dressed ghost floated over to feast heartily.

“Where are the residents from the fourth floor?” Seeing the red-dressed ghost heading off to dine, Wen Shi immediately asked the Gatekeeper Ghost.

“As you suggested, I let them go. How many manage to escape alive will depend on their luck.”

Wen Shi’s earlier attempt to stop the ghosts reassured his teammates, proving that he hadn’t turned into a monster.

Zhou Xiaochun nervously asked, “What’s up with these ghosts?”

“Side effect of the videotape quest,” Wen Shi checked the time. “They should disappear in about ten minutes.”

Thanks to the red-dressed ghost’s influence, the creatures around them avoided their area.

“Dr. Aaron.”

Suddenly, a chilling voice came from behind.

Wen Shi swiftly turned around. The door to the CT room slowly opened, and the escort personnel emerged. “I didn’t expect you to finish reviewing our research material from the past few years so quickly.” 

The escort personnel effortlessly snapped the neck of a ghost charging at him. His strength was beyond imagination. Without sparing a glance at the dead creature’s body or Ji Yuanzhi and the others, he gave a professional smile to Wen Shi. “Dr. Aaron, I’ll take you to the archives for a tour.”

As chaos unfolded around them, Wen Shi asked cautiously, “Aren’t you concerned about this place?”

“Just a minor mishap. Security personnel will be here shortly to handle it.”

Wen Shi lowered his gaze and remained silent. He had no choice but to follow quietly.

The monsters didn’t attack those in the transformed state. After the escort personnel easily dispatched some obstacles along the way, they ceased attacking them.

The two of them moved like air, navigating through the jungle of beasts, until they vanished at the end of the corridor.

Shortly after their departure, a well-trained group of individuals equipped with even stronger gear arrived, quickly gaining control of the situation.

One team approached Ji Yuanzhi and the others.

Ji Yuanzhi took the initiative, “We’re here to donate blood.”

He had seen it on the bulletin board. Big Factory often called on its staff to donate blood.

Surprisingly, the head of security didn’t probe further into their flimsy excuse. Instead, he used a pager to summon a professional medical staff member.

“Take these three to the blood donation area.”


Before the players could express their surprise, the medical staff member directly indicated the trio, pointing to Ji Yuanzhi, Liu Yuan, and Liu Yun.

“According to the blood donation protocol, we need to take samples from you first for contamination testing.”

At the same time, Ji Yuanzhi and the other two received notification sounds.

【Side Quest: Blood Donation

Quest Reward: Encounter a monster. After completing the quest, sanatorium exploration progress will increase to fifty percent.】

Ji Yuanzhi pondered for a moment, speculating that the exploration progress among team members could accumulate, including Pei Wenwei’s portion.

Blood donation? Encounter a monster?

Liu Yuan couldn’t help but turn pale.

Ji Yuanzhi noticed her unease and coldly said, “You’re already fortunate enough.”

Those who didn’t receive the quest, like Zhou Xiaochun and the others, would fare even worse. As for Pei Wenwei, he was truly unlucky. The first quest brought a bunch of ghosts, and now he had to face everything alone.

A stark comparison existed, at least teaching them to be content.

The head of security glanced at the remaining three players. “Since you intruded into the medical examination area without permission, and we’ve lost quite a few Pure-Hearted Beasts, let them fill in.”

Zhou Xiaochun and the others were taken to the breeding ground.

Inside the breeding ground, each person was immersed in a glass cylinder, tubes protruding from their bodies. The glass cylinder couldn’t be pushed open from the inside. Once players were locked inside, their limbs were chained, and an unknown liquid was injected into their bodies.

Zhang Suihe didn’t dwell on why the blood donation quest hadn’t triggered, focusing on the present. “We won’t last more than two hours at most.”

The hearts they processed on their first day of work were sourced from Pure-Hearted Beast. Come dawn, someone would surely come to extract their hearts.

As Soul Purity continued to decline, Zhou Xiaochun, usually anxious, surprisingly remained calm like never before.

He prepared to use the【Divination】skill to help his teammates complete the quest quickly, hoping to secure his own survival.

The principle of divination was: divine for small matters, not for big ones. The greater the matter, the stronger the backlash. Often, attempts to avoid this outcome led to poor judgments during the process. But this time was an exception, and he had to make an exception.

A copper coin automatically flew down from his neck, leaving a few barely legible characters etched into his palm lines.

After a while, Zhou Xiaochun managed to raise a hand with effort and took out his phone.

The glass cylinder was soundproofed. Lv Tang tapped the cylinder wall with his waist knife, creating a sound, reminding Zhou Xiaochun to be cautious about triggering rules.

The sanatorium was well-hidden, emphasizing confidentiality.

Zhou Xiaochun’s mind was racing, but he knew that conveying messages related to the task should be within controllable limits.

On the other side, after Ji Yuanzhi, Liu Yuan, and Liu Yun entered the blood collection area, they were forced to go to an air shower room for disinfection before answering the phone.

“Twelve death rules… related to water, suctions… survival time, seven minutes.” Zhou Xiaochun shared the answers obtained from his divination.

Ji Yuanzhi heard the sound of a door opening on the other end, followed by footsteps, as if someone was approaching Zhou Xiaochun. He immediately asked, “Pei Wenwei?”

Zhou Xiaochun’s weak and feeble voice replied, “A choice.”

The two words were quite blurry. Ji Yuanzhi thought that Zhou Xiaochun’s confused consciousness might be due to his poor physical condition, so he inquired more specifically, “The death rules, survival duration, and the like?”

“None, only a choice,” Zhou Xiaochun replied. “His keyword is human nature.”


Ji Yuanzhi fell into a heavy silence.

Zhou Xiaochun understood the emotions Ji Yuanzhi must be feeling at the moment. Before the staff confiscated his phone, Zhou Xiaochun managed to curse with his last bit of strength, “This damn life!”

While everyone else was pondering math and science, one person was pondering ethical and moral qualities.

Was there still any justice in the world?!

Third floor.

Back on the third floor, someone was entering the data room carrying a large box filled with videotapes.

The escort personnel explained, “Over time, videotapes can get damp and moldy. These were taken for repairs.”

The data room was a bit of a distance from the archives room. On the third floor, only these two rooms were built.

The escort personnel once again brought him to the door, showing no intention of going in.

“Inside here are files about the staff. You can choose to read whatever interests you.” 

Wen Shi asked, “Are your records in there too?”

The escort personnel nodded.

“You must be curious about the differences between us and the Pure-Hearted Beasts,” the escort personnel said. “In fact, we are more advanced. The staff at the sanatorium have antibodies in their bodies, allowing them to coexist with contaminated sources without losing their minds and attacking people.”

This was somewhat similar to Wen Shi’s transformed state, but Wen Shi only had seven days to live, while the sanatorium staff clearly did not. They possessed greater strength than the monsters and had a longer lifespan.

The escort personnel took out a syringe from his pocket. “You can learn more from the files.”

Wen Shi vaguely guessed what he was about to do. Outside the records room was a line of words: “Unauthorized personnel stay out. Leaking any record information is strictly prohibited.”

“The archives room is a confidential area second only to the Director’s office. Although you’ve already signed a confidentiality agreement, the pledge only has general restraining power. We still need to perform a dual recording.”

The escort personnel opened a recording device while asking Wen Shi to stand facing the direction of a surveillance camera. “Please cooperate.”

He took a step forward, preparing to administer an injection to Wen Shi.

The Gatekeeper Ghost tried to intervene, but an unknown force stopped it. Wen Shi himself was in a similar situation. After confirming that this was a necessary part of the game, he chose to give up resistance.

If he guessed correctly, the substance about to be injected into his body was the same truth serum he had been injected with on the first day of the interview.

The familiar sense of consciousness being withdrawn washed over him. Wen Shi’s gaze gradually became unfocused.

The escort personnel toyed with the syringe in his hand and asked in a gloomy tone, “Dr. Aaron, will you report everything about the sanatorium to the main hospital?”

Even as he asked, he had already decided to go through with it. This doctor must be the one sent by the main hospital for inspection. How could he not report back?

A few years ago, some changes occurred at the sanatorium. They had been trying to break free from the control of the main hospital.

“No,” the cat doctor raised its tail and unconsciously countered, “Why would I report?“

The escort personnel said angrily, “Of course, because you’re a lapdog of Frank Hospital. You should be loyal to them!”

Wen Shi remained indifferent.

The escort personnel realized he was getting too worked up and softened his tone, “Did the main hospital notice something unusual at the sanatorium and specifically send you here?”

Wen Shi shook his head.

The escort personnel eased slightly, “Then why did you come?”

Wen Shi had an urge to say that the game brought him here, but he couldn’t bring himself to speak such words.

Seeing his silence, the escort personnel’s murderous intent grew wildly, “What are you planning to do next? File a report, steal records, or leak research data?”

Wen Shi tilted his head slightly, his expression serious as he murmured, “Settle in first, then mobilize more branch sanatoriums to encircle the main hospital, and finally eliminate the higher-ups. I’ll become the Director.”


Ever since he discovered the connection between the sanatorium and Frank Hospital, Wen Shi had wanted to establish【My Home】in the sanatorium. With the existence of the sanatorium, it indicated that there were likely several branch sanatoriums related to Frank Hospital in the instance. Once he fully integrated and incorporated them, he could exert influence over the main hospital from the outside.

In short: Build high walls, stockpile provisions, and ascend gradually.

Thinking this through, Wen Shi smiled happily at the camera, contentedly embarking on his entrepreneurial journey.

On the other side of the camera, the man sitting at the desk stared at the sweetly smiling cat doctor for a long time, his thoughts lingering.

Not long ago, he had looked up why a cat would raise its tail. The answer was that when a cat liked someone or felt secure, it would raise its tail.

…Why does he like me? Why does he trust me?

The man had found this puzzling before, but now, as he revisited the information, he realized there was one reason that had been overlooked from the very beginning: Sometimes cats raise their tails high as they patrol their territory.

Since Wen Shi entered the sanatorium, his tail had hardly come down.

If you enjoy this novel, support the Translator ginevre on her ko-fi account :))

<Previous Chapter<Table of Contents>Next Chapter>

Leave a comment