Matryoshka Off-Limits Chapter 55

Chapter 55 Big Faactory


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After the warning sound went off, the apocalyptic scene that occured in the ancient castle instance didn’t appear.

It was very quiet, an extreme quietness that made people slightly uneasy. It seemed like something was watching over everything, and nothing escaped notice.

The blood-red cat doctor lay in the elevator shaft, bleeding but not crying.

“Did you hear the legend of the nine lives… can’t die.” Without seeing the giant eyeball from last time, Wen Shi felt somewhat disappointed.

It seemed like his insides were all out of place. Despite his serious injuries, he didn’t really feel much pain. He just felt cold, and his wounds were icy to the touch.

“You won’t die.” His gentle words sounded like a promise. Jian Qingrong’s face looked even paler than Wen Shi’s. His fingers brushed against his cheek softly as he added, “Even if you really die, don’t be scared. I’ll turn you into a ghost and give you eternal life.”

“……”

Not far away, Liu Yun, who had come running after them, tightly covered her mouth, barely managing to hold back from shouting, “H-he sacrificed himself for the quest…”

Ji Yuanzhi pushed his glasses up and asked calmly, “Really?”

As they rushed out of the restroom, Pei Wenwei had glanced at Liu Yun, signaling his realization that Liu Yun was actually the best choice to save Jian Qingrong.

“Your【Bubble】skill can seal off space, preventing outsiders from entering.”

This aspect could be utilized in reverse. The bubble could freely expand and contract. The outer wall was like a bouncy cushion. If used inside the elevator shaft, it could provide effective cushioning. So, the game wasn’t entirely devoid of a way out. The true lifeline lay with the Liu sisters.

But someone opted to use his body to catch the fall.

Ji Yuanzhi pondered quietly, wondering if there was a life-saving item, or if there was another reason.

The possibility of a newbie having a life-saving item was quite slim. Could it be that his health points were different from others? For example, Pei Wenwei could share life with that brother-like demon, or maybe his health bar was longer than that of ordinary players

After listening to Ji Yuanzhi’s analysis, Liu Yun was immersed in a double shock.

Temporarily setting aside Pei Wenwei’s bewildering actions, Ji Yuanzhi surveyed the surroundings attentively. “Let’s find a place to hide.”

The commotion in the elevator shaft had grown too loud, already attracting quite a few workers.

Before he could decide whether to return to the first floor, a loud noise echoed from above. A fearsome tentacle burst through the ceiling. The tip of the tentacle bore hooked claws, boasting formidable attack strength. Instinctively, Ji Yuanzhi drew his dagger and made a swift slash, causing blood to splatter in all directions.

“Ji Yuanzhi!” Liu Yun couldn’t care less about being noticed. She shouted loudly.

Ji Yuanzhi’s gaze abruptly trembled, snapping back to awareness. He realized the blood wasn’t from a monster. It was a person’s. A deep knife wound marred the back of a hospital worker passing by him, almost exposing bone.

Hallucination?

Ji Yuanzhi frowned, checked his Soul Purity, and found it hadn’t dropped to critical level.

“I saw it too,” Liu Yun’s expression soured as she emphasized, “That tentacle, I saw it too.”

Her reaction was simply slower than Ji Yuanzhi’s.

If not because of Soul Purity, then it had to be… Ji Yuanzhi took a deep breath, “The monster is about to awaken.”

Creating hallucinations, it seemed to be an ability inherent to the monster itself.

Chaos erupted in the sanatorium. Most people had witnessed the illusion. The escort personnel was Jian Qingrong’s trusted aide. He had been an experimental subject before. His resistance against hallucinatory disturbances was stronger than an average person’s. He rushed toward the elevator shaft. “Director, are you okay?”

Wen Shi, who was coughing up blood, silently raised his middle finger. Are you blind? I’m the one who is not okay.

Ever since Jian Qingrong’s powers awakened in his youth, his fragile physical qualities had been rapidly enhancing. Earlier, he had been intercepted mid-air by Wen Shi. What the hell could go wrong!

Wen Shi frantically consumed healing potions. This time, it wasn’t like completing a skill task, where he had the benefit of instantly resetting the damage taken. After severe injuries, even if he kept chugging potions, recovery would still require some time.

Alarm lights illuminated every floor around them. The smart panels blared with notifications, engulfing the entire sanatorium in a layer of red light.

Jian Qingrong gestured, and the escort personnel who had followed him for years understood immediately. They used their pagers to gather everyone and systematically evacuate with crucial data.

As for those still immersed in illusions and recklessly attacking, the escort team was ready to abandon them.

Ji Yuanzhi quickened his pace up the stairs. The security personnel would undoubtedly retreat from the breeding area. Now was a perfect opportunity to rescue Lv Tang and the others.

Liu Yun anxiously exclaimed, “What about Pei Wenwei? We can’t leave him behind alone.”

After all, he had saved their lives.

Ji Yuanzhi replied incredulously, “Open your eyes and look. Does he seem like someone in trouble?”

Liu Yun turned around and saw the weak young man being carefully held in someone’s arms. The person carrying him was completely unaffected by the illusion. Jian Qingrong’s physical strength was formidable. He even managed to free a hand mid-way and lightly tapped the bell hanging around Wen Shi’s collarbone. Under the influence of the sound waves, the agitated workers suddenly grew calmer.

Before she could retract her gaze, the ground suddenly jolted violently. This time, it wasn’t an illusion. Hundreds of terrifying tentacles poured down like a torrential rain, their hooked claws accurately piercing through protective suits and into the major arteries of nearby hospital workers.

While everyone was desperately fleeing, Wen Shi managed to shift his gaze with difficulty and said, “H-hold tightly.”

It made his head spin.

Jian Qingrong tightened his grip on Wen Shi’s arm. “Alright.”

“You’re right.” Liu Yun’s lips twitched. Even if they all died, Pei Wenwei wouldn’t die.

Due to excessive blood loss, Wen Shi was already feeling dizzy. Faced with the chaos, he surprisingly didn’t feel much nervousness.

What slightly surprised him was that Jian Qingrong’s favorability had actually increased to a hundred. He had thought that sacrificing his life once wouldn’t fill the meter completely, but who would have thought it would go so smoothly? Wen Shi had uncovered the keyword to boosting Jian Qingrong’s favorability: “effort.” Furthermore, he had understood the hidden calculations beneath Jian Qingrong’s restrained personality, making it implausible for Jian Qingrong not to have suspected his intentions.

Thoughts seemed to transmit through their closely adhering skin. Jian Qingrong’s eyes were like a dried well—deep and tranquil. “I’ve said before, what I give will not be taken back.”

Wen Shi’s tail was severely injured, hanging limp throughout. Upon hearing those words, a faint smile tugged at his lips. “You won’t, won’t regret it… we’ll eventually become… p-part of the same… boat…”

The path of getting stronger through upgrading their home was much safer than devouring monsters. It wouldn’t become a thorn in the game’s side.

Unfortunately, Wen Shi was now hardly different from a sick seedling. A few more words and he would cough up blood, his speech becoming indistinct. The last word he said grew fainter, and Jian Qingrong didn’t quite catch them. Accidentally mistaking it for “bed,” his muscles tensed momentarily.

Wen Shi placed his hand on Jian Qingrong’s shoulder and exerted a slight pressure, signaling him to lower his head and listen.

“My little brother, when dealing with the monster… you have a way to help…?”

Jian Qingrong had used a virus to kill the factory manager and possessed the ability to control regular monsters. Surely, he could weaken the imprisoned monster’ powers as well.

Little brother?

When Wen Shi worked the night shift, Jian Qingrong had noticed the teenager, who seemed to have the power to manipulate people’s minds. However, he hadn’t given it too much thought, as no amount of variables could affect his future plans. Now, hearing Wen Shi mention it, he simply said, “You’re not real siblings.”

In Wen Shi’s pupils, the reflection of the other’s gaze appeared. He firmly spoke two words, “Help him.”

He stared at him for a few seconds, then Jian Qingrong averted his gaze, finally responding, “Alright.”

Large sections of the ceiling collapsed, the electrical room upstairs exploded, and the frightening flames illuminated the area. Some unfortunate soul nearby had been impaled by a monster’s tentacle, blood splattering everywhere.

Wen Shi buried his head in Jian Qingrong’s neck, avoiding the horrifying scene. His body trembled slightly.

Jian Qingrong thought he was scared and was about to say something when he caught a glimpse of the cat’s tail raising slightly. With a hint of sadness, Wen Shi began, “My goodness…”

At this rate, he would likely end up with nothing but ruins.

“……”

The sanatorium had quite a few secret passages. Jian Qingrong chose not to use the stairs, leading Wen Shi through the hidden path to the top floor.

Wen Shi struggled to open his eyelids, his fingers unconsciously gripping Jian Qingrong’s clothes as he took in the surroundings.

This time, he was genuinely starting to feel afraid.

The dark space was illuminated by a bloody glow. From Wen Shi’s perspective, he could only see the giant monster’s head. Its mouth resembled the root of an old tree, splitting into several lobes, each shaped like a cylindrical tube, wriggling down like an eel. The interior was covered in concentric circles of suctions and saw-like teeth.

He sucked in a breath of cold air. “This is…”

Jian Qingrong’s tone was calm. “Human’s creation.”

The stench constantly emanated from the monster’s gill openings, Wen Shi unexpectedly locked eyes with one of its murky yellow eyes. Almost in an instant, a lobe of the moving mouth swung through the air. It created a ‘whoosh’ sound as it brushed against the air. Jian Qingrong, holding onto Wen Shi, remained unmoving in their spot.

It was only when the foul odor was about to envelop them that his slender fingers moved. The oncoming gaping maw suddenly lost its accuracy, swinging in a different direction.

Wen Shi was momentarily stunned.

He had personally experienced the life of No. 82 and knew that Jian Qingrong could control any contaminated individual through sound. However, he hadn’t expected his power to reach this level in adulthood. No wonder he dared to attempt a “suicidal attack.”

There was someone else present even more brutal than Jian Qingrong. A demon’s tail pierced through the eel-like flesh, and a pair of seemingly boneless hands held the monster in place. In an instant, the creature was torn apart at the middle.

“Big Brother,” the teenager noticed Wen Shi covered in blood, his pupils contracting. He could hear the human’s heartbeat and discerned that although Wen Shi was severely injured, he wasn’t in mortal danger.

Wen Shi shook his head slightly, signaling that he was fine.

Throughout the ordeal, Jian Qingrong never approached the monster. He remained expressionless outside the scene, using sound to slow down the monster’s attacks. Except when the monster was injured, he deliberately guided the foul-smelling blood and flesh toward the teenager, making him appear bloodthirsty and cruel.

Jian Qingrong even took the initiative to cover Wen Shi’s eyes with his hand. Then, he nodded slightly at the teenager, indicating that he need not worry about frightening Wen Shi. He could go ahead and slaughter the monster without restraint.

Without looking, he effortlessly tore off a tentacle. The teenager felt that something was off. Just as he was absorbed in the fervor of killing and absorbing the monster’s power, half of the shadowed face suddenly turned. In an inconspicuous corner, that damned man was secretly recording a video while holding onto Big Brother.

This action directly triggered the demon’s radar!

Beside them, Jian Qingrong coldly murmured, “Your brother is quite fierce and has the power to protect himself. He doesn’t need special protection.”

He deliberately recorded it to let Wen Shi see later, to reduce some of the concern for this non-blood-related little brother.

Being blindfolded strangely heightened his perception. Wen Shi seemed to catch a whiff of gunpowder in the air but couldn’t fathom the reason. He could only remind them, “Hurry up.”

Night is long, with many dreams. Resolve the monster quickly and lessen property damage.

Each person had their own thoughts.

Ignored and currently being dismembered, the deep-sea monster grew totally enraged. Its wriggling form released a salty and damp scent in all directions. Its size rapidly expanded like a sponge, causing the space of most of the fifth floor to burst and collapse. The weighty walls pressed down, producing several screams from the lower levels.

Wen Shi grabbed Jian Qingrong’s hand away from his face, took out his phone, and messaged his teammates:

【Escape first, don’t worry about me. As the team leader, I’ll cover the rear. Never give up, no matter when. (go for it.jpg)】

First floor.

The secure passage split into two, and the tentacles frantically sought living beings to absorb nutrients. Several players, exhausted from running, had their blood flow faster than usual.

The phone vibrated, and Ji Yuanzhi took a glance.

The other teammates also felt their phones vibrate, but they lacked the energy to take them out and check.

Ji Yuanzhi, “Received a message from the Sea King, telling us to escape and not worry about him.”

Zhou Xiaochun supported Lv Tang, who had just been rescued, and couldn’t help but glance over, his face twitching. “At this time, he can still think about equally considering everyone’s emotions.”

Liu Yuan, with a hint of uncertainty, asked, “Should we just run?”

The quest required at least one slot for an outstanding employee. Leaving the sanatorium like this, was it appropriate?

Ji Yuanzhi: “Pei Wenwei will definitely get the slot.”

Should it be him, in the moment of resolute self-sacrifice, Ji Yuanzhi believed he would also reciprocate if someone held him from the abyss. The sanatorium’s director had no reason to refuse such a simple request.

This was the importance of emotional value.

Pei Wenwei’s initial proposal to improve the judge’s favorability seemed absurd, but he actually achieved it.

The secret passages were interconnected. Some parts were damaged, but the elevator shaft remained the safest escape. The effects of the enchantments left behind still deterred the monster’s tentacles from easily causing harm in that area.

The well’s bottom bore the vivid crimson remnants of when things fell. Li Yuan felt a chill. Regardless of Pei Wenwei’s hidden cards, he was truly capable of being ruthless toward himself.

Not daring to relax, the group desperately climbed the ladder upward. The entire dormitory building was now on the brink of collapse, and all residents were rushing to escape.

Such intense exertion was taxing even for battle-hardened players. Ji Yuanzhi endured his sore muscles and messaged Wen Shi: 【Meet at the workshop entrance】.

The workshop was a bit far from the dormitory building, and the group hurriedly made their way there. After confirming temporary safety, they disregarded appearances. Except for Ji Yuanzhi and Zhang Suihe, who were barely standing, everyone else collapsed on the ground.

The distant rumbling sound persisted, while the sky was gradually turning pale

Unsure how much time had passed, Liu Yuan felt both worried and guilty. They had fled like deserters, leaving Pei Wenwei to shoulder everything alone. It felt a bit unfair.

“No matter what, everything he’s done was for the team, to complete the mission. We owe him a debt of gratitude.”

“They’re out!” Zhou Xiaochun suddenly exclaimed.

Everyone quickly turned around, looking ahead where Wen Shi was being carried along the path, the beautiful teenager by his side inquiring about his well-being, “Does it hurt, Big Brother? Is there anything uncomfortable? I know Big Brother did everything for me.”

He could vaguely sense that the man who had designs on Big Brother was willing to help control the monster. Surely, Big Brother planned this for him.

Jian Qingrong shed his previous facade of meekness, his every step taken with a steady assurance. It was as if he feared unsettling Wen Shi with jostling movements. He couldn’t be bothered to correct the teenager’s words. He knew that everything done by the person in his arms was for his sake, to prevent him from becoming an irrational malevolent ghost.

Many figures rushed out near the cafeteria, the residents of the fourth floor who had managed to escape. The outside was teeming with monsters, who had been hesitant to leave Big Factory.

Seeing Wen Shi now, they excitedly rushed up, one by one exclaiming, “Dorm supervisor!”

“Dorm supervisor, are you okay?”

“The dorm supervisor got seriously injured while saving everyone. We’ll strive to be good people like you in the future!”

Ji Yuanzhi silently watched it all unfold. Despite being players from the same world as Pei Wenwei, he couldn’t even find a way to express his concern.

After a while, he turned to Liu Yuan. “Who was he doing all of this for, as you mentioned earlier?”

Liu Yuan pursed her lips, feeling somewhat unsure now.

The only thing that seemed certain was that everyone believed Pei Wenwei did it for them.

***

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1 thought on “Matryoshka Off-Limits Chapter 55”

  1. Thanks for the chapter! This novel has become one of my all time favorites. Each time I see it update my day gets a little brighter.

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