editors: celtic & juurensha
The slightly hotter temperature seeped into the core of his palm.
The soil was divided into an unnatural series of layers. The surface was dark and sticky, while the middle layer was dry and grey. It showed occasional cracks and was hard, like it had been roasted in fire.
––The heat source was buried under the soil.
The entire area had begun to heat up at least two hours before the first player had landed.
Wu Jin’s eyebrows jumped up.
All the clues were finally stitched together.
The harsh conditions for this elimination match weren’t based on hurricanes or rainstorms, but rather an artificial high-heat ‘melting pot’ within the closed arena environment.
The ground temperature was still rising.
The program team would weed through all the contestants and redetermine their rankings within 24 hours.
In other words, the temperature in the field would rise to a level human beings could no longer tolerate within 24 hours.
Hidden amidst of broad-leaved trees, Wu Jin quickly opened up his backpack and went through his existing supplies.
A modified firearm with a rough and crude barrel and an empty chamber. It was paired with twelve rounds of ammunition, the lead shells coated in a layer of black lacquer.
Wu Jin tried to stuff the firearm into his backpack, but the butt of the gun poked out regardless––he was forced to hold the gun in his hand.
It was very possible that there was no gun more useless than this one that could be found in the entire field.
It was clearly the size of a rocket launcher, but it was at the very bottom in terms of firepower and definitely wouldn’t be able to support him until the very end.
Frustration flashed across Wu Jin’s eyes for a moment, and then when he opened up his supplies bag––it simply plummeted down into despair.
Within fifteen minutes, the only items he had managed to find were a bundle of rope, a magnesium bar, and some straws.
In a high temperature environment, water was the scarcest resource.
It was still dark, and the wind was cool as it blew across the sparsely vegetated hills.
But by the time the water finished evaporating and the sun rose up in the morning––according to the current heating trend, when geothermal heat was paired with sunlight, standing out in the open air would be like being doused with hot water. No contestant would be able to survive in this kind of extreme environment.
He wasn’t sure if only the area he was in was like this, or if it was the same situation for the entire map.
Regardless of whether it was to avoid the heat or to go find water, he had to get out of here.
Wu Jin quickly packed up his bag, folded up his parachute and put it together with his supplies, then walked deeper into the woods––
His movements stopped abruptly, and he swiftly hid behind some rocks.
There were footsteps in the distance.
In the Crosson broadcast room, Axel was still commenting at great lengths on the landings of the second batch of contestants when he suddenly received a message.
––Due to strong requests from the audience, please be sure to give contestant Wu more than twenty seconds of camera time.
Axel had no choice but to look up Wu Jin’s coordinates. He accessed the live camera, then raised his eyebrows up in surprise.
The cameras, which had been arranged across the map in advance, crept out quietly from between moss in the crevice that had dried out in the heat.
On the screen, three of the contestants from the second batch had formed a group and were heading towards the corner where Wu Jin was hidden.
Axel’s interest was piqued immediately, “Dear audience, the three contestants are now very close to the hideout. Note that neither side has found any water. According to our previous analysis of this map, the wisest choice would be to form a team within this extremely resource-scarce environment.”
“In that case, let’s take a look at Contestant Wu’s situation––a gun.”
Axel laughed, “It seems that Contestant Wu will have to hand over his gun in order to join the group. What we’re seeing now is a classic set-up. Will the three B-ranked players accept ‘Crosson Show’s appearance value player’ once the gun is handed over, or will they take out Contestant Wu right then and there? Ok. Let’s watch the scene. Contestant Wu is coming out––”
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.
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Czfi’r mbwwfcajgs kjr mea boo ys atf rbecv bo j yeiifa, jcv rtjgvr bo mgjmxfv rbli rqgjsfv cfza ab atf qlctbif mjwfgj––
Rba bcis kfgf atf atgff jiilfv mbcafrajcar rajgaifv, fnfc Tlcu Wljcuzljcu, ktb tjv yffc jvperalcu atf mjwfgj qbrlalbc gfwbafis, tjvc’a fzqfmafv remt jc jmalbc.
Wu Jin actually dared to shoot.
There were three people on the other side, and the difference between the two opposing sides was very large.
Even if Wu Jin had a gun––the blunderbuss couldn’t be aimed accurately, and Wu Jin’s static shooting performance was well known.
As expected, the first shot missed.
The dust dispersed, and the camera turned towards Wu Jin––the second shot came faster than expected; behind his temporary bunker, Wu Jin was standing in the deepest part of the night, in a place where even the starlight couldn’t touch. His amber eyes glowed with concentration and were filled with a cold light.
His next shot grazed against a contestant’s calf, but the accuracy level was completely not enough to cause any significant injury. At that moment, his opponent had already reacted quickly and retreated back to safety within the surroundings.
Wu Jin didn’t hesitate as he made the third shot, his right hand that was holding the firearm suddenly trembling slightly.
Almost everyone in the audience thought that it was due to nervousness, but against expectations, Axel didn’t make use of this detail to mock him.
Axel’s lips moved as he quickly swallowed back his original remarks.
As a professional commentator, he could see more than the audience. Wu Jin’s right hand hadn’t shaken at the beginning. Although his accuracy was a mess, he had managed to offset the force of the recoil of the gun from start to finish.
During that moment just now, it wasn’t that Wu Jin was nervous, but that the gun chamber had exploded.
The explosion rate for advanced guns was less than one in a million, but what Wu Jin held in his hands was a blunderbuss.
Once the gunpowder ratio increased, the damage to the barrel became greater when it was fired. If he wasn’t mistaken, right now, the barrel of Wu Jin’s blunderbuss had already cracked.
This gun, was already a trash gun.
Across from Wu Jin, the three contestants who hadn’t yet figured out the situation had decided to withdraw.
Only now did most of the audience understand Wu Jin’s strategy.
He was clearing the field.
Although the best choice right now was to form an alliance––Wu Jin didn’t care too much about that and had instead chosen to use his limited bullets in order to clear the field.
It was quite a risky move. If even a single one of the contestants turned back now, it was very possible that they would discover the limit of their opponent’s strength immediately and then eliminate Wu Jin on the spot––
And at this moment.
On screen, one of the contestant’s voice carried a trace of suspicion as they turned around, “The sound of the gunshot wasn’t quite right––”
In the next second, the sound of another lead bullet shot right into their ears.
The fourth shot.
“My god, how many bullets did he pick up for him to waste them like this?!” That man shouted, “Let’s get out of here first!”
The three figures soon disappeared from the hills.
The Crosson Show.
Blood Pigeon, who had been watching from the side, suddenly opened his mouth, “Interesting. He still dares to shoot with an exploded chamber.”
The chain-smoking program producer froze, “You’re talking about Little Witch? Wait, that was an ex…. ex, exploded chamber just now?” The program producer calmed himself down, then exclaimed, “Little Witch is really pushing it this match.”
Blood Pigeon spoke again and analyzed Wu Jin’s performance just now, “His positioning wasn’t good. He had no way to escape.”
“Why didn’t Little Witch form a team?” The producer wondered.
“He’s saving his team time for the end.” Blood Pigeon explained, “If he wants to remain in A, he has to live until the end.”
The producer was in a trance. A long time later, Blood Pigeon leisurely opened his mouth, “His gun skills aren’t good, and his positioning is bad, but he has ambition and judgment. Quite interesting.”
In the hills.
Wu Jin’s head felt swollen and dizzy from the impact of the chamber explosion. Fragments from the lead bullet flew out from the front of the blunderbuss and had hit him in the face along with dust and gravel.
He suddenly realized something, his left hand rubbing at his cheek came off with only a smudge of blood on his fingertips.
Wu Jin was relieved.
He hadn’t been badly hurt! At least, he wouldn’t have to look for medicine!
The blunderbuss was already completely useless, and he still had eight bullets left. Wu Jin dropped six rounds but ultimately didn’t abandon the gun––after all, this was his only gun, and it could double as a shovel if necessary.
At this point, the surface temperature had already begun to burn through the soles of his shoes. The terminal on his right wrist flashed lightly, indicating that all contestants had landed.
Wu Jin had no time to think about how seven of the contestants had already left the field.
He understood very clearly that he had to leave now. His position had already been exposed, and as soon as the other party was armed enough, it was very likely that they would return to suppress him.
Amongst the sparse broad-leaved woods, the trees that were drying up from the roots were like strange shadows, creeping up eerily in the moonlight.
The silence, heat, and lack of water left Wu Jin with a faint ringing sound in his ears, and he forced himself to concentrate and analyze all of the information he now had on hand.
According to the rate that the temperature was rising in this area, all the players who remained here would soon be eliminated. The elimination match wouldn’t give contestants a dead end; there must be a pattern that could be followed. That meant that there were certain rules within extreme environments. In other words––safe zones.
Unfortunately, he hadn’t yet found a safe zone.
At 4 hours and 10 minutes into the match, Wu Jin finally found another supplies bag that had been placed on top of a tree stump in the dim moonlight.
He opened up the supplies bag and was pleasantly surprised to find the first survival tool that could come in handy––a spade-shaped sharp knife.
Wu Jin quickly found a tree that was still barely alive, chiseled out a gap with the knife, inserted a straw for drainage, and spread out the parachute canvas to catch the leakage from the tree.
The trickle of water was like redemption in the heat. Wu Jin was anxious and hurried as he drank down the water from the tree in one gulp.
His five senses were restored by the water.
At this point, the ground temperature had already reached a point where contact with skin was intolerable; the soles of his rubber shoes were also giving off a strange, burnt smell.
On his watch, the number of eliminated people was endlessly climbing up.
Wu Jin collected one last small bag of water and secreted it away within a section of waterproof cloth before continuing along the same direction.
In front of him was the mountain that was closest to him.
After calculating the time, it was already almost morning.
If he wanted to figure out the rules for this map, he needed to at least have a clear view.
If he couldn’t get to the safe zone by chance––
Wu Jin finally glanced at the parachute in his backpack and unhesitatingly walked towards the peak.
Crosson Show’s director stage.
At this time, the temperature in some areas of the ground had already climbed up to 72 degrees Celsius. The first batch of players had already been eliminated.
Axel finally turned the camera back to focus on Wu Jin.
“North Mountain.” Axel commented, “A very unexpected choice. A total of 370 contestants are still alive, and the front lines are now concentrated by the river. Of course, Contestant Wu has reasons not to participate in the firefight, given that everyone knows about his skill with a gun.”
“Unfortunately, Contestant Wu’s luck isn’t very good, and his choice of direction always deviates away from the safe zone. Of course, luck is also part of one’s strength.”
Ying Xiangxiang’s eyebrows raised slightly.
Axel smiled at her, “It’s only ten minutes until sunrise, and only an hour from the maximum preparation time for Contestant Wu. If he can’t knock out any contestant within an hour, the program team will eliminate him directly.”
“I’m very doubtful about his decision. There is indeed a safe zone near the North Mountain, but it will take much longer than an hour to go down the mountain. Unless he can snipe blindly and obtain a kill from the top of the mountain in order not to be eliminated––oh, the prerequisite for that would be that he has a sniper rifle.”
Ying Xiangxiang’s tone was even, “Contestant Wu has made a good start. I have confidence in him.”
Axel: “Is that right? I rather feel like he only wants to watch the sunrise before he’s eliminated.”
At the peak of the mountain.
Wu Jin drank the last of his water, his breathing labored from his physical exertions.
The entire mountain seemed to be on fire. The geothermal heat was like an invisible flame that roasted and tormented his nerves.
In the distance, the sky turned fish belly white––when the sun came out, the area that was still heating up would become a purgatory.
Wu Jin narrowed his eyes and looked down the mountain in the dim light.
River, grasslands, and hills constantly spread out within his field of vision, overlapping with the map coordinates he had memorized.
But he wasn’t looking at the terrain.
He was looking at the plants.
Along the way, all the trees he had seen were dried up with very few leaves. On the other side of the mountain, some stretches of land were charred, while some were lush––
Wu Jin couldn’t help but lament that his luck was truly bad. If he had landed in that direction, he wouldn’t have turned into a soon-to-be roasted Wu Jin.
Beneath the mountains, the areas with different environments were displayed like squares on a chessboard.
Wu Jin estimated the coordinates and divided the entire map into 81 areas.
The state of the vegetation was varied, from completely withered to half surviving, to dense and lush as normal, forming a sharp gradient contrast.
Wu Jin pulled out the sharp knife from his waist and quickly marked down the temperature of the areas he could see on the inside of his backpack, deducing the information from the condition of the vegetation in each area.
Axel sighed, “He really found the safe zone.”
Ying Xiangxiang stilled for a moment, “Perhaps if he was given another half an hour, Contestant Wu would be able to figure out the rules for the match.”
Axel: “However, his decision was wrong from the start––cracking the rules to the map doesn’t give any points. Only living until the end can determine a contestant’s ranking. If he goes down the mountain now, it will take him at least an hour and a half, and he will be eliminated along the way––”
Axel’s words paused suddenly.
On the screen, Wu Jin finished recording the area, quickly fixed up his backpack, and tossed down the heavy blunderbuss.
“Is he planning to run down the mountain?” Ying Xiangxiang hesitated, “His physical strength probably isn’t enough––”
In the screen, Wu Jin had already quickly unpacked his parachute.
Blood Pigeon, who was standing outside the broadcasting room, suddenly stood up and stared at the screen in shock.
In the screen, Wu Jin once again confirmed the direction of the safe zone before quickly running forward, stepping out into empty air from the top of a cliff––
Ying Xiangxiang’s mouth dropped open.
“He…” It took Axel a long time before he could control his tone, “He isn’t running down, he’s… jumping straight down.”
There was a loud whoosh.
The parachute opened during his fall.
The wind that was as scorching as the mountain as it blew off the heated ground pushed Wu Jin towards the faraway safe zone, bringing him to meet the sunrise in the sky.
Juurensha: So smart Little Witch!!!!
Celtic: good job!
xiin: alright, so i owe 3 sponsored posts & am almost ready to go back to two releases/week… let’s see how this pans out. thanks for the coffee, and for understanding while i was busy over the past month <3