Wei Lan calmed down.
While it was inconvenient that the other people, who the system called the players got to know about his existence but from the wordings of it, none of them were aware that he was not one of them.
That made him wonder how they recognized those who were like them, a player, and who were not. It could not be easy as the system had to announce that there is somebody who was not a player among them.
He looked at the players again.
The young man from before had finally calmed the two girls down, smiling at them charmingly and walked them to the reception.
Wei Lan saw that he was the only one left to move forwards and so walked to the place that everyone had gathered. It would not do for them to become suspicious of him so early on!
His eyes went to the two men who were still talking about the news on the paper like it was the most interesting thing that they had ever read and must be reviewed as he reached their line of sight.
Perhaps feeling eyes on them, the one on the right who was closer to the lobby path turned and looked at Wei Lan.
He was not sure what to do. He was caught staring and now, felt awkward to just walk away.
He gave them an awkward smile.
The second man saw that the first one was not responding to his words and looked over as well, only to see Wei Lans smiling face.
"What do you want?" the man asked gruffly.
The first man also looked on curiously to hear Wei Lan answer.
Wei Lan thought of the way that the two were obsessed with the newspapers and decided that it could be used as a weapon to get away from the two men. After all, the two were not really reading the newspaper and were only pretending for the players. They would just say Get lost like many others did and he could use that as an excuse to walk away.
"Is the news interesting?" Wei Lan asked, his voice a bit squeaky. He looked towards the players to see if any of them were looking towards him in suspicion. They weren . They were too busy looking around the area.
The two drunk men looked at each other and then at the newspaper in their hands. They shared a grin.
"Wanna read it?" the first man asked him.
Wei Lan wanted to cry. He just wanted to use an excuse to get away without being rude. How did he end up like this?
Wei Lan let out a sigh and walked towards the men with heavy steps.
"Hey!" a voice called.
Wei Lan looked over with a dull expression to find that the young man from before was looking at him. The kid had one arm around one of the girls.
Wei Lan was impressed by the speed at which the kid seduced the women. Much more skillful than Wei Lan had ever been at it.
The so-called kid, with more skills than him at finding partners, waved at him. "We have to go to the reception!"
Wei Lan realised that the man was talking to himself. So he was recognised as a player and not…like the two Newspaper Men.
He happily looked at the two drunken men and bowed his head in apology. "Really sorry, gentlemen! I have to go to my friends! Perhaps I will read the newspaper with you later!"
With that he ran away.
As he got closer to the others just in time to hear the stout man at the reception talk.
Wei Lan was surprised by the fact that the person was actually alive.
A sense of unease seeped into his heart. What was this situation exactly? He could guess that he had been transported now into some other dimension. That or he was in a coma.
But what was so special about the dimension.
The system and the players aspect of it said that this was either a book or a game that he had transmigrated into. But which was it? He felt like he had read too many books that had the exact same formula and now he was even confused as to which one he was in.
And that man who sent him here. Why did he look like Wei Lan? And what was the mans agenda for sending him here?
"You all have to work hard," the man at the reception was saying to them, but really his eyes were looking at the girl with the long face as he talked. "I am not giving you and your friends this opportunity for you to mess around."
The woman frowned and nodded.
The man handed over a blue folder. "This is the duty that you will all do for the next four days, okay? Do them on time and don let me catch you upsetting the guests and other employees of the company. If you do, then you will not like the consequences."
The womans face turned pale and she nodded quickly.
The mans face gained a one-sided smile then. "And don do the job of others. If you dare to the job of others, then don blame me when I catch you."
Everyone froze as the mans face seemed to morph into a demonic one.
It took everything in the long-faced girls will power for not to throw something at the man and run away.
The two scantily clad girls huddled to each other closer, whimpering.
The stout man then nodded and walked away.
The long-faced girl let out a relieved sigh and turned to the others. "Okay! How many of you are first timers?"
The huddled girls raised their hands.
Wei Lan hesitated for a moment and then raised his own.
The long-faced woman pursed her lips.
She turned to the man next to her who had finally gotten rid of his doctors coat and had hid away his scalpel.
"How many Instances have you done as of now?"
The bearded man rubbed his chin and thought for a moment. "About 4. This is my 5th."
The girl was surprised. She smiled. "This is my 4th one!"
The young man who was lamenting about the fact that he lost the beauty in his arms sighed. "It is the 2nd for me."
The girl sighed again. "So we have three newcomers, and three veterans and the average experience of the veterans is 3.3 or something. That means that this instance is going to be easier!"
"Not exactly," the doctor said.
The girl looked at him confusion. "What do you mean?"
"Remember the side task? That escaping ghost thing? That means that this is a high-level novice instance."
The girl cursed. "I forgot about that! Damn it! Why would that kind of a task appear in this low-level instance anyway!"
Wei Lan wanted to apologize to her at those words. Sorry sister, it is my fault.
"Um…excuse me," a timid voice asked from their side.
The three veterans looked towards the two girls. The one to talk was a girl with star shaped earrings. Her eyes were bright and clear as she looked at them all. "What is going on? We know that we are in some kind of weird game thanks to that brother there, but…"
The long-faced girl sighed. "My name is Fairy. No, that is not my real name, but you will find that giving out your real name in this kind of place is very dangerous. And this is…a special world, you can say. We call it instance like in games. We were all pulled here because we are all about to die in the real world and the only way to save ourselves in the real world is to escape this world. You heard that announcement, right?"
The three newcomers nodded. "That is the system. It…sort of pulled us all into this. We don know what its purpose is, and honestly, I really don care. I just want to live through this instance and then return to the real world And neither should you, if you know what is good for you. It calls us Players by the way. The people of the instance are called as NPCs."
"Like a game!" the girl with the star earrings exclaimed.
"Exactly," the woman said to the girl with a small smile.
"Why are you helping us?" Wei Lan finally asked. He knew human nature enough to know that there was something seriously wrong with this situation. She was being very helpful, and while he was not to judge a book by its cover, she really did not seem to be a kind hearted person.
Fairy sighed again. The girl seemed to be addicted to the action. "Because there is a system reward for it. If any of you live, then the people who have actually escaped at least one instance before will receive Horror Points for it."
Wei Lan understood that she was doing this for herself.
He then looked at the two other veterans other than Fairy.
The bearded man sighed when he saw the look that the newbies were showing. "I am Jackson Ching, and yes, that is my name. I am a doctor in Germany. And I am not good at explaining this thing."
The young man sighed as well. "I am Roaring Tiger. Please don judge me. I was obsessed with one of the seniors that I met and this was my confession. Not that she will ever hear it since she is still in the real world."
Fairy sighed. "There is also another reason that I helped you."
Wei Lan and the others looked at her in surprise. There was more?
The woman looked at the young and hopeful faces in front of her and smiled. "We are a team."
They showed a confused face at her words.
The girl thought for a moment how to put her words. "The meaning is, if we all are alive by the end of the instance then we will be together in the next instance too, and the next and the next, until there is only one person left."
"Actually," Jackson said in a calm voice, "There are players who will become independent if they are able to score 100 points in their first or second instance. After doing so, you can work with different people so that you don have to feel loyal to them."
The girl stiffened. "Do you know how difficult that is?"
The man shrugged. "There was no reason to hide that information."
Fairy looked at him in suspicion and then turned to the rest of them again. "Now that the initial explanation is out of the way, you guys can figure out the rules of the game yourself. Let us first look at the job that we are assigned."
Fairy flipped open the folder that the stout NPC had given her.
Everyone started to gather around her.
Wei Lans eyes went to the three veterans in front of him. The three did not know each other before this instance so were they people who got the 100 points or did their teammates die?
He kept his curioucity down and walked up to the rest of them.
the girl with the star earrings looked towards him as he neared her and moved away with a sneer.
Wei Lan was confused by that reaction of hers. Did he stink?
He secretly smelled himself and almost hurled on the floor right then and there.
He smelt like a rotten corpse.
He looked at one of the reflective surfaces of the hotel lobby and flinched at the wound that he saw on his face.
"Um…why do I look like…" he wanted to ask but felt like the veterans were looking at him in confusion.
"That was how you must have looked when you first entered the system," Roaring Tiger, or tiger as Wei Lan decided to call him, explained with a pitying gaze.
Wei Lan looked at the two girls huddled together and then looked at Tiger again.
The young man gave him an awkward smile. "They died due to electric shock hitting their home swimming pool. You look like you went through a huge accident. Don worry. As long as you take a bath in the hotel, you will be able to recover!"
Wei Lan nodded.
What a weird way of doing things. If the system was already going to save the people why let them look the way that he did?
"Are you guys done?" Fairy asked the two of them in annoyance. "Can we begin now?"
Wei Lan looked inside the folder and was confused by the content inside it.
"What is this?" he asked, pointing to the plain blue cards inside.
"You have to pick one to gain the identity," the woman said with a sigh.
Wei Lan waited for them to take the cards first before he did. He was not sure whether this was safe or if this was a method to discover whether the person in front of them was a ghost or not.
Fairy sighed. She pulled out a blue card from her back pocket and placed it inside the folder.
There was a flash of golden light and all of a sudden, the card disappeared.
The Newcomers looked at her in confusion.
"What? This is not my first instance. As long as you clear this instance you will be given your own card. Until then, you have to use the system issued one."
"What is the difference between the two and what is the purpose of the cards?" Wei Lan asked her.
Fairy looked at him with a dull expression. She really hated explaining. "The system issued one assigns you random identity in the instance, while the personal card allows you to go by the name of your choice. For example, in this instance and every single one in the future, I will be called Fairy."
"What is the consequence of not taking a card?" the girl with the star earrings asked.
"Xiao Mu!" the girl next to her screamed.
Xiao Mu snorted. "You are too timid Xiao Mei."
The timid girl curled away from Xiao Mus fingers that were trying to tuck her hair behind her ears.