editors: celtic & juurensha
The last week before the elimination match passed by in an instant.
On the fourteenth day of the Crosson Show, Wu Jin prepared two days’ worth of food for the rabbit, then closed the door to the dormitory behind him.
Outside the South Tower dormitory, the helicopters responsible for transporting the contestants to the match were parked in an open space. The crew was doing a final pre-match inventory check.
Wu Jin felt very emotional when he changed into his combat gear.
The last time he had been herded onto a plane––he had thought he was applying for a c-position debut in a boy group…
The Crosson Show’s combat uniform was a pale green. It was originally very suitable for camouflage in the wilderness, but a variety of advertisements that ranged from large to small, based on the business sponsorship fees, were printed from the collar down to the waistline and trouser legs.
Five hundred trainees dressed in the same clothing gathered together and looked like a sea of colors from the distance.
Only now were the voting rankings from the show’s first broadcast finally released, and the final decision made for the trainees’ order of entry into the match grounds.
––Wei Yan, as the only S-level trainee, ranked first. Thin Fire’s and Wu Jin’s vote counts were similar, and Thin Fire won second place only by a narrow margin.
The camera swept over the White Moonlight team, and Caesar struggled to paste on a sincere smile of goodwill. Immediately after it shifted away, he cried out in indignation, “How much money did Silver Thread Roll throw onto Thin Fire? Ads of him are everywhere when I scroll through Star Blog…”
At the front of the crowd, Thin Fire was currently deepening his voice and interacting with the camera. Wu Jin suddenly realized that he seemed to have never heard this roommate of his––use anything other than his ‘male god’ voice to speak.
The burden of being an idol was so heavy!
On the other side, Zoe was chatting with Wen Lin in a low voice. He was frowning slightly as he looked back towards the broadcast station some distance away, “The commentators this time… That one is from the League and has always disliked White Moonlight.”
Wu Jin followed Zoe’s line of sight and saw someone with long hair and wearing sunglasses next to Blood Pigeon.
Caesar was taller, and his gaze latched onto the man immediately. He exclaimed in surprise, “My god, Axel? That man’s words have always been coarse––why would they invite him over?”
Zoe mused, “For the sake of having a hot discussion topic, probably. No need to concern ourselves over him. We’ll play as usual…” Following that, he seemed to suddenly think of something and looked at Wu Jin.
The first round of the elimination match was a personal competition where players would enter the match grounds at random points according to their order of entry. Compared to the stable Caesar and Wen Lin, he was more worried about Wu Jin.
Wu Jin’s advantage lay in his performance in front of the camera, but the power to control the camera lay in the commentators’ hands. If Axel continued to pick on White Moonlight, as per usual, Wu Jin’s votes would likely fall during the second period.
At ten o’clock in the evening, the roar of the helicopter engine rang out.
“Little Witch.” Before entering the match, Zoe gave him a big hug, “Be careful, work hard!”
Wu Jin’s eyes curved as he nodded.
According to the vote rankings, the first batch of people to land in the competition field would be the three trainees at the top of the rankings.
Outside the window, the Crosson training base was shrinking into the distance. Wu Jin greeted his teammates, then finally stretched out his head, light flashing across his eyes as he looked down at the darkened D Zone.
Within the narrow cabin.
Wu Jin reviewed the sandbox table one last time, his mind crammed with dense contour lines and scale tables.
The virtual screen in front of his seat was playing sponsorship advertisements.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
Wu Jin scanned over it, and his gaze suddenly froze.
WW Dlbafmtcbibus Jbwqjcs, obecvfv 300 sfjgr jub, kjr jc biv jcv kfii xcbkc fcafgqglrf lc atf lcafgrafiijg fgj. Pa tjv wjcs qgbvemalbc yjrfr obg juglmeiaegji mgbqr, jcv lar agjvfwjgx qjafca jiibkfv atfw ab rlweijaf atf afwqfgjaegf fcnlgbcwfca bo vloofgfca xlcvr bo nfufajalbc bc yjggfc qijcfar… Ktfs kfgf atf yluufra rqbcrbgr bo atlr rfjrbc’r olgra filwlcjalbc wjamt.
There seemed to be something fishy going on.
Wu Jin’s eyebrows were drawn together in a slight frown as he went back over his memory to the moment half an hour ago when he received his combat supplies from the crew––
His mental playback suddenly screeched to a halt.
Wu Jin quickly looked over his combat suit. Amongst the dense sponsorship logos and trademarks, Wu Jin couldn’t find a single sign of their number one sponsor, XX Biotechnology Company.
If the advertisement wasn’t on the contestants––that meant it had to be in the field.
Inside the cabin, a prompt suddenly rang out.
“Contestant 300012, please make your preparations and leave the cabin to begin your landing within three minutes.”
The hatch door burst open with a bang.
Outside the window, the deep, inky dark night seemed to swallow everything up, and the mountain wind blew the earthy scent of soil with it.
Wu Jin sorted out the clues he had one last time and took a deep breath.
A few tens of kilometers away, on the Crosson Show commentators’ platform.
After praising Wei Yan’s standard tactical landing, Axel finally switched the screen to show Wu Jin’s cabin.
“White Moonlight’s trainee?” Axel flipped through the provided data, “It’s very obvious that his looks were what made him popular on the Crosson Show this week, with an average score of five rings on static targets––”
On the other side, Ying Xiangxiang added, “His performance on camera is very good.”
Axel raised his eyebrows and grinned all of a sudden, “Let us take a look at contestant Wu Jin’s last vote–-twelve million votes, a number that many fixed target ten ring never achieve in their lifetimes.”
Ying Xiangxiang tilted her head. Her smile remained on her face, but she hesitated slightly inside.
It seemed that Axel didn’t favor Wu Jin at all. This veteran commentator always brought his personal opinions into his commentary and would take offense at the slightest insult.
The audience that favored Axel’s commentary usually had more ‘hard core’ tastes; they revered and were obsessed with the strong, and there was no common ground between them and the talent show fans who voted based on Wu Jin’s face––from the perspective of those fixed fans, Axel would likely target Wu Jin in his commentary.
Ying Xiangxiang hadn’t finished considering this point when Axel already made his move, “Then, according to our usual practice, let’s give the contestant a chance on the screen before they dive…”
The corner of Ying Xiangxiang’s mouth twitched.
Even though she still had a smile on her face, a rare feeling of anger was rising up inside of her.
The camera scene before the jump should be given to the contestant during the flight announcement. Axel’s actions were half a minute late, and on the screen, Wu Jin had already walked to the cabin door and loosened the cord in preparation for his jump.
––80% of contestants’ facial muscles would be distorted during the weightlessness of skydiving.
There was no so called expression management or lens performance in such a situation.
As a professional actor, Ying Xiangxiang had suffered more than a few times from behavior similar to Axel’s as a newcomer to the industry. What’s more, Axel had positioned the camera right behind Wu Jin, so close that it was practically poking at the contestant––
Inside the cabin, Wu Jin turned back in surprise.
The black-on-black camera lens suddenly burst out from behind him, but he had already stepped out with one foot in the air. He was unable to retract his momentum and was about to fall.
––This was a live camera controlled by the commentators. Wu Jin would be captured and shown on the live broadcast regardless of whether he wanted it or not.
In that instant, Wu Jin’s body made a judgement even before his consciousness kicked in.
His performance lessons from both before and after his transmigration flooded in.
When it came to guns, Wu Jin’s foundation was indeed very weak.
When it came to entertaining fans––any performance idol from 1000 years ago who had been popular on the blue planet could crush the contestants on the Crosson Show!
Wu Jin made an immediate decision and changed his position, from a dive to a backwards drop out the hatch door.
Against the dark night sky, the youth’s heartstopping eyebrows drew close to the camera, followed by a pliant yet strong body as Wu Jin slowly fell backwards with an unguarded posture.
The pressure from the thin air pressure at high altitude tried to suck Wu Jin outwards like a magnet, but Wu Jin didn’t immediately loosen the cord:
He used his right hand to firmly buckle on the last safety button, and the moment the camera zoomed in closer, he turned his head slightly, his left hand forming a gun shape that aimed gently towards the lens. His amber eyes reflected the starlight as his right eyelid dropped down.
––Your trainee has fired a WINK at you.
In the broadcast room, Axel, who was manipulating the lens, froze for a moment. Ying Xiangxiang slapped the table, then immediately began to clap her hands.
The only remaining problem was the facial muscle spasms that would be caused by weightlessness when the player went into free fall.
Ying Xiangxiang sucked in a slight breath. She had mentioned this point repeatedly during class, and there was no way Wu Jin wouldn’t have remembered it. However, other than Wei Yan who was born without much facial expression, most contestants would have a difficult time coping with this kind of position––
Then, her eyes opened wide in surprise.
Wu Jin’s actions were completely unexpected to everyone.
As he removed his safety cord, his left hand reached out, seeming to want to stroke the camera and interact with it––
The moment he touched the camera, the camera equipment that weighed several tens of kilograms was shoved askew. Wu Jin unhesitatingly untied the cord and welcomed free fall the moment that he entered a blind spot of the shooting!
The camera beeped a few times and only transmitted the dark night sky on the screen.
Axel finally reacted and turned the camera back to the direction where Wu Jin was falling in the air.
Within the dark night, there was only a tiny twinkling point left in the air. The parachute opened a long time later, the surface of the canvas reflecting back a fluorescent light at the lens.
Within the live broadcast room, the long silent scrolling comments suddenly exploded.
Wu Jin’s actions were like floating clouds and flowing water; perfect and practically flawless.
If it had been Wei Yan, it was impossible for him to waste precious time on a camera. As a perfect human weapon, weightlessness had no impact on the stiff muscles of his face.
But Wu Jin couldn’t do that.
Even adding on the previous forced skydiving experience during the audition, no matter how much additional homework he had done in advance, he still lacked practical experience.
––Since he had no way to control his facial expression on the way down, he needed to have the camera go away instead.
In the broadcast room for the Crosson Show, Axel cleared his throat and began to criticize the timing of Wu Jin’s parachute opening as being too reckless. Yet within the scrolling comments, few people were willing to listen to him chatter nonsense.
“Little Witch winked at me ahhhhhh!!!! My heart is a puddle of goo ahhh! That last jump––my angel fell to earth for my sake!”
“Is there a problem with Axel’s camera direction? I didn’t see him use the camera lens to poke at Thin Fire earlier. Static target five rings doesn’t matter, based on that opening scene––I would vote for Little Witch even if he turns into a life-saving capsule on landing!”
“It’s impossible for him to turn into a life-saving capsule on landing! Begging for the support channel to be opened aoooooh! Let me spend money to give Little Witch a gun, okay?!”
––It was impossible to send a gun.
The Crosson Show hadn’t yet fallen to the point where they were willing to break the game’s balance.
Within the darkness of the night, Wu Jin tried his best to land in a standard position––and eventually, inevitably, hit the grass in the form of a Wu Jin ball.
And then, he was spread out evenly from the impact, changing from a ball to a pancake.
There was an obvious lack of experience.
Wu Jin climbed up from the grass, rubbed at his face, seemed to realize something, and pressed his palm against the dry ground.
The surface was hot.
The temperature was slightly lower than that of the human body at approximately 31 to 37 degrees Celcius––it was clearly not the normal temperature that should be expected from the original subtropical grassland map.
Wu Jin didn’t have time to study it carefully. After a short break, he quickly used his starting time advantage to collect materials.
Quick calculations were going on in his mind––
The purpose of having an initial batch of contestants enter the grounds first based on audience votes was to give them a starting advantage.
Kings would not encounter each other; Thin Water’s and Wei Yan’s starting point definitely wouldn’t be in the same area as him. Relatively speaking, he should be in a safe position.
There was a total of thirty contestants in the second batch, who would all be released onto the map in a way that would cover the entire area. If Wu Jin, who had collected good supplies, was unable to find a good hiding place before they landed, he would undoubtedly become a target for robbery, just like a caring delivery person…
In the 6th minute, Wu Jin found the first small supplies box.
In the 13th minute, Wu Jin picked up his first gun––in terms of appearance, it seemed to be an old-fashioned blunderbuss.
In the 15th minute, the light from a searchlight pierced the night.
Within the darkness, the reflection from a contestant’s parachute could be seen.
Wu Jin sped towards the hills to hide, squinting as he counted the number of parachutes in the area.
One… five, six.
Wu Jin memorized the places where they had landed and continued to explore the depths of the forest.
Suddenly, his footsteps faltered slightly.
Wu Jin leaned over and touched the damp soil, feeling the temperature that was now slightly higher than his body temperature, emanating from the bottom of the stone.
––The temperature of the surface of the earth had increased from fifteen minutes ago.
Juurensha: Little Witch used WINK: it was super effective!
Celtic: Axel should take care of his camera movements….or Wei Shi may hunt him down.
xiin: *playing with the Wu Jin ball/pancake*~