Midnight Ten Chapter 10

Chapter 10: Liang Xin Shop

<Previous Chapter<Table of Contents>Next Chapter>

Soon, everyone had finished checking the prompt messages, but their reactions could be divided into two categories.

Fan Peiyang, Tang Lin, and Zheng Luozhu were all visibly excited, as they had believed they would have to endure a long wait, only to find out they had to wait for just seven more days.

The three from the Torn T-shirt gang didn’t react much, staying as composed as if they were reading spam messages.

“It’s been two months; it should be time…” Torn T-shirt stretched lazily.

Tang Lin tilted his head and observed the three of them for a moment. “Don’t you want to challenge the level?”

Torn T-shirt gave a snort. “We don’t want to die.”

Tang Lin asked, “Is the challenge level very difficult?”

“Difficult,” Torn T-shirt replied without hesitation, “but what’s even more challenging is dealing with the challengers.”

Fan Peiyang patted Tang Lin on the shoulder. “You and Zhuzi stay here; I’ll go outside to check the situation and gather some information along the way.”

Tang Lin also wanted to go outside, but considering his unproductive foliage-themed Stationery Tree, which might lower Fan Peiyang’s combat effectiveness, he decided against it. “Alright.”

Fan Peiyang then turned to check on Zheng Luozhu.

Zheng Luozhu seemed lost in thought, and after a while, their gaze met. He quickly nodded. “Don’t worry, I’ll watch over President Tang.”

“Do you guys understand the phrase ‘listen to advice on a full stomach’?” Torn T-shirt sighed. “I’ve seen too many newcomers like you, arriving all confident, thinking they’re invincible, and in the end, they don’t even know how they died.”

Fan Peiyang nodded to indicate he heard, then stood up to open the metal gate.

Torn T-shirt added, “Remember to come back before it gets dark.”

Fan Peiyang turned and asked, “Is there even a concept of night in the Underground City?”

If he remembered correctly, there were only artificial lights here, no natural day or night cycle.

Torn T-shirt replied, “As long as you can’t hear that rumbling sound anymore, it’s nighttime.”

He was referring to the constant machine noise that had pervaded the Underground City.

Fan Peiyang asked, “What happens when it gets dark?”

Torn T-shirt replied, “Night Roamers come out.”


At the end of a secluded alley in the Underground City, a manhole cover was pushed aside, and a robust figure emerged. However, his grand entrance was somewhat dampened due to the unconventional emergence. Fortunately, no one saw it happen.

Fan Peiyang moved the manhole cover back into place and casually patted his shirt, once again presenting himself as a respectable businessman.

As he walked out of the alley, the streets were becoming busier. In addition to the destitute and those in a hurry, there were now more people wandering on the streets, chatting and socializing in groups of three to five. The news of the upcoming opening of the challenge level seemed to have activated the Underground City.

Fan Peiyang avoided the crowd and headed to the northeast corner of the city. As expected, there was a massive duct descending from above. Although it wasn’t currently delivering food, there were several groups of people firmly guarding it in the vicinity. Judging by their positions and style, he could roughly identify seven or eight different factions.

Among these factions, there were some individuals wearing white shirts, although their positions did not seem to be of high standing. If faction status equated to their positions, then the White Team might not be among the top-tier factions in the Underground City.

Without lingering too long, Fan Peiyang then followed the coordinates provided by the “Cheat Sheet” and arrived at the subway entrance.

The subway entrance was located in the center of the city on a circular square. Along the way, this was the only open space Fan Peiyang had come across. The square had a diameter of around fifty meters and was scattered with various mechanical devices of unknown purpose. The subway entrance was right at the center of the square, next to a tall clock tower.

The clock’s face was adorned with numerous gears, intricately interlocking, and its outer rim was marked with Roman numerals representing the time.

At this moment, the ancient bronze clock hands pointed to 7:18.

For the sake of combat convenience, Fan Peiyang never brought a wristwatch into the challenge levels. However, on his phone, it displayed 7:18 Beijing time.

In this world, phones couldn’t access the internet, but as long as they had power, the clocks would diligently function, rarely making errors, calculating time based on code. Was the passage of time here synchronized with real-time?

Fan Peiyang suppressed his curiosity and approached the subway entrance, observing it for a while. Many people came to study the subway entrance, so he blended in without appearing conspicuous.

The subway entrance was tightly sealed by a metal door, with numerous rivets forming a large “1/10” on the door.

1/10, the first level among all ten.

Leaving the square, Fan Peiyang planned to head west in the Underground City. After taking just a couple of steps, he spotted Lu Jue walking towards him. Not wanting to engage with him again, Fan Peiyang quickly turned and entered a nearby dark alley.

However, as soon as he turned into the alley, he encountered a brawl. More precisely, it was one person beating up another. The aggressor was burly and strong, while the victim was thin and weak. Neither of them had a stationery tree, probably because the aggressor thought it was unnecessary, and the victim had already lost the strength to use it.

“You f*cking idiot, if you’d just been this obedient earlier!” The burly aggressor, unaware of Fan Peiyang’s presence, sat on top of the victim, panting heavily while rummaging through his clothes. In no time, he pulled out a piece of bread.

The bread was small and had become wrinkled during the scuffle. Just as the burly aggressor was about to get up, his wrist was suddenly grabbed by the person beneath him: “You… give it back to me…”

“F*ck!” The burly aggressor yanked his hand free and was about to kick the victim in the head. 

But as his foot descended, he was suddenly suspended in the air.

A can of food came flying out of nowhere and crashed forcefully into the burly aggressor’s forehead with a loud “clang.” He staggered backward, and the kick he intended to deliver went off target, landing on the ground.

“Who the f*ck are you?” The burly man, now infuriated and embarrassed, yelled when he saw Fan Peiyang.

Ignoring him, Fan Peiyang fixed his gaze on the can that had fallen to the ground. Holding his breath, he concentrated, then abruptly lifted his eyes.

The can levitated and, with another loud “clang,” struck the burly aggressor on the back of his head.

Two successful manipulations, hitting the target both times. Although the accuracy was not 100%, Fan Peiyang was quite satisfied.

During the time when everyone was asleep, he had been quietly practicing. He mainly used cans, and he also tried some of the miscellaneous items piled by Torn T-shirt and his companions against the wall. Now, he could achieve a basic level of accuracy in terms of general direction. However, his proficiency, speed, and strength were still far from perfect. He could only manipulate small objects for now, like cans and mobile phones, and even that was pushing his limits. Deadly weapons, even dagger lighter than a can, were entirely beyond his control.


The slender young man who had been knocked down earlier suddenly leaped up, using his body as a projectile and charging fiercely toward the burly manwhile the latter was distracted by the flying can. 

The burly man was caught off guard and stumbled, losing his balance as he crashed into the alley wall. The thin and weak young man swiftly grabbed his bread back, then quickly picked up the can from the ground and bolted away like a mad rabbit.

The burly man spat on the ground, muttered to Feng Peiyang, “Just you wait,” and sprinted off. He ran silently, as if there were invisible gusts of wind propelling him, moving considerably faster than an average person.

Feng Peiyang raised an eyebrow, understanding the situation. It seemed that the reason the other person hadn’t used their stationery for counterattacks was because their stationery tree focused on speed enhancements, an auxiliary type that wasn’t useful in a physical fight.

However, what concerned Feng Peiyang more was the fact that he seemed to have been separated from his improvised weapon.

In the dead-end alley, amidst the ruins and flowing sewage, the weak young man crouched against the wall, gasping for air, and devouring the canned food he had just obtained. Every few seconds, he choked on his food.

The wind blew for a few seconds, and the empty can was quickly drained to the bottom. The young man extended his fingers into the can to scrape the remaining bits of food. Suddenly, the area above his head darkened.

The young man raised his head in a daze, and his entire body was now completely shrouded in shadow.

Fan Peiyang looked down at him with his back to the light, his face didn’t reveal any emotions: “Are you full?” 

The young man quickly dug out the last bits of meat from the can and put them in his mouth. Then, he held the empty can above his head with great respect and said, “Brother, here you go.”

The empty can had been cleaned so thoroughly that it looked like it had been brushed. 

“You can keep it for yourself,” Fan Peiyang replied, realizing that his choice of weapon might have been too hasty.

Seeing that the other person wasn’t angry, the young man became bolder and mumbled, “Is your ability to move objects remotely with your stationery? Then you can use a stone, with a can you’re not fighting, you’re seducing.”

Fan Peiyang: “…”

“Hey, I haven’t seen you before, are you new?” The young man seemed to have discovered a new world.

Fan Peiyang raised an eyebrow but didn’t say anything.

The young man chuckled, his eyes swollen from the beating, but that didn’t dampen his little pride. “You can’t deny it. Let me tell you, in this Underground City, there are so many people, so many organizations, who lives in which house, which shop is the shadiest, I am well-informed, don’t underestimate me…”

“Shop?” Fan Peiyangsuddenly interrupted him.

The young man: “I’m talking about places where they do business.”

“What kind of business?”

“Anything that can be bought and sold, food, goods, weapons, stationery…”

“Take me there.”

Following the young man through one dark alley after another, making numerous twists and turns until they seemed to have lost their way, they finally arrived at the middleman the young man referred to as the “Liang Xin of the Underground City.”

Liang Xin didn’t produce food or stationery; he was merely a middleman, making a profit by transporting these goods and charging a markup.

After leading the way, the young man took his introduction fee from Liang Xin which was two small loaves of bread, and left.

Liang Xin locked the doors and windows, then led Fan Peiyang up to the attic before getting straight to the point, “How do you plan to make payment?”

Fan Peiyang found it intriguing, “You don’t even know what I want to buy.”

“Please, have a seat.” Liang Xin sat down at a square table and gestured for Fan Peiyang to sit across from him.

Fan Peiyang complied and sat down, facing him.

Liang Xin was a bit chubby with a simple and honest appearance, but his eyes were shrewd. “You want to buy stationery.”

Fan Peiyang wasn’t surprised. Someone who had prospered in the business world would naturally have that kind of insight.

“The payment method directly determines your purchasing power,” Liang Xin said as he took a piece of paper from a drawer and handed it to Fan Peiyang. “This is the stationery catalog. If you exchange using weapons, you can only choose from the first half of the list. If you exchange using food, you can choose any stationery, but it also depends on the quantity and quality of the weapons and food.”

Weapons and food were the hard currencies in the Underground City, but because of the existence of stationery, weapons were not as crucial. Naturally, purchasing power for stationery was lower than that for food. 


<[Defense] I See Through You> Stock: Adequate

<[Defense] Moments of Joy Levitation Technique> Stock: 1

<[Defense] Golden Shield> Stock: 2

<[Defense] Into the Mist> Stock: 1

“A total of four types of stationery, so there’s no need for a catalog,” said Fan Peiyang sincerely.

Liang Xin sighed and spoke with a heavy heart, “You’re still young, but you’ll understand eventually. Here, stationery is the rarest treasure. Some are in short supply, and even fewer are willing to sell. It took me a lot of effort to gather these.”

Fan Peiyang: “And they are all defensive stationery.”

Liang Xin slapped the catalog with his plump hand, showing displeasure. “Being so picky doesn’t seem like sincere buying.”

Fan Peiyang remained composed. On his way here, he had seen an ATM. It had also appeared in other challenge levels, and he had used it a few times. Just like in the real world, his bank account balance changed in real-time. This was almost the only connection point between this world of challenges and the real world.

“I don’t have weapons or food,” he looked at Liang Xin, “Is money acceptable?”

Liang Xin suddenly sat up straight, looking radiant, and even his voice sounded more melodious. “If you want to talk about that, I’m all ears.”

“You (informal)” have become “You (formal).” Fan Peiyang upgraded to VIP treatment.

If you like what I’m doing please show your support by donating me a cup of coffee through Kofi, or join membership tier to get access to 5 early chapters every month!

<Previous Chapter<Table of Contents>Next Chapter>

Leave a comment