Underworld Playerchapter 16: player status

Deep down, Bai Zhi wasn't confident at all about the situation at hand.

This cute boy with a schoolbag had turned over ten students, including him, into puppets! If he hadn't been able to free himself from that strange place in record time, the two professionals would have been at the boy's mercy.

It had all been coincidence. If he had been delayed by even a few seconds, even those two strong-looking dudes might have fallen. Alone, he would not have been able to help the situation, since he had no real idea how to defeat the supernatural entity.

Even the solid hit he had landed with the chair leg had not left so much as a bruise on the boy's head. It seemed that this supernatural entity was not like the other one, which was powerless against any targets who felt no fear. This one was one hundred percent a real threat to Bai Zhi.

"Hmm? The marionettes seem to be reverting..."

Bai Zhi was still a short distance away from the boy, but he could already see that the scattered marionettes around it were showing signs of change. It seemed like they were slowly recovering their original form.

He picked up the little boy's schoolbag and took out the remaining puppets, placing them in an orderly row on the ground. At the very bottom of the bag, he found two that looked like the two missing students from his own class.

"I wonder if these people will be all right..." he muttered as he frowned slightly.

Bai Zhi turned his gaze to the boy on the floor, and was met by a pair of vengeful eyes full of venomous hatred.

Half the boy's face was missing, no doubt some mysterious consequence of the punch that Wu Hua had landed on the boy's face. The missing portions were replaced by an inky-black fluid, which turned the once-adorable face into the sinister visage of some demon from Hell.

The boy's unforgiving eyes never moved, as if he was trying to memorize the face of his sworn nemesis.

"What a shame... Just a few seconds longer and I..." the boy began, but suddenly, the rest of his body, even that schoolbag of his, was transformed into ash, like pieces of paper fed to the flames. In his place, there now floated a reddish-tinged white crystal with eight sides—an octahedron.

"No way, these guys drop loot?! It even defies gravity... I bet Newton's turning in his grave," exclaimed Bai Zhi. As he observed the white crystal before him, he felt his understanding of this world once again being updated.

Before he could pontificate further, the white crystal flew toward him, quickly disappearing into his palm somehow. It also triggered the appearance of a virtual screen, one that only he could see.

[ Player status granted, logging in... ]

[ Player Name: Bai Zhi ]

[ Player ID: KM4553*****352 ]

[ P. Level: 1 ]

[ Experience: 50/100 ]

[ Currency: 0 ]

[ Equipped: None ]

[ Items: None ]

[ Skills: None ]

[ Inventory: "Shadowland Pass" x1, "Shadowland Perpetual Deed"x1 ]

[ New Player Immunity for: 72 : 00 : 00]

"Player? Is this world a massive game?"

As he scanned the virtual screen before him, Bai Zhi could not help recalling the Scuttle Crab that he saw when he first arrived in this world.

It had crossed his mind that this was a world where powers could be awakened, a world of magic, mystical artifacts and superhuman abilities, but never in a million years would he have expected that he was a Player in a mysterious game.

"The 50 XP points must've been awarded because I bashed the creature on the head, and the rest shared with the other guy... or not. The things in my inventory must be loot, dropped by the entity. 'New Player Immunity'... what's that about?"

Bai Zhi pored over the screen for quite a while before he was satisfied. Finally, he decided to check out the items that had been added to his bag.

[ Item Name: Shadowland Pass ]

[ Type: Special ]

[ Class: Ultra Rare ]

[ Description: Essentia item for travelling within Shadowland ]

[ Requirements: None ]

[ Auto-bound to Player ID, Cannot be Sold, Cannot be Dropped, Untransferable ]

[ Item Name: Shadowland Perpetual Deed ]

[ Type: Special ]

[ Class: None ]

[ Description: The Owner of this Deed may receive a plot of land in Shadowland and perpetual rights to its use ]

[ Requirements: None ]

[ Auto-bound to Player ID, Cannot be Sold, Cannot be Dropped, Untransferable ]

After reading every word in the descriptions of these two items—the only things in his bag, Bai Zhi glanced quickly at the spot where the little boy had just been.

"What if these are not random loot, but intentionally given to me by that thing... Does that mean it will return?"

Clearly, the Shadowland in question was the name of the dimension he had been sent to by the entity earlier. It seemed like the entity, knowing it was trapped between a rock and a hard place, had decided to forfeit its life, allowing it to escape to god-knows-where. At the same time, it had left these items to Bai Zhi as a promise that it would come for them—and therefore, Bai Zhi—when it next returned. The last line in the items' descriptions guaranteed this.

"Tch, the bugger holds quite the grudge. Even though they clearly started it..."

Bai Zhi gave a wry smile—after all, he was already drowning in problems; another one made no difference. Returning the Pass and the Deed to his bag, Bai Zhi stood up and took stock of his surroundings.

The marionettes had all reverted to being full-size humans, but not a single one of the dozen or so students lying on the rooftop showed any signs of waking up. They seemed to be in a coma, and for all Bai Zhi knew, could be suffering some other side-effects.

Just then, a ray of sunlight broke through the gloomy clouds and shone directly on him. The sudden light from the golden beam was so bright it hurt his eyes.

"...Is it noon?"

Bai Zhi put a hand up to shield his eyes and squinted as he looked toward the sky.

Meanwhile, a figure was panting at the doorway to the rooftop, slightly out of breath from running up the stairs. By pure coincidence, that they had arrived at the perfect time to see Bai Zhi, standing in the middle of the rooftop, with a ray of sunlight beaming directly on him.

It was an exceptionally flattering sight. Bai Zhi was naturally handsome, and the sight of him standing tall amongst a pile of unconscious bodies, the Sun itself shining a spotlight on him, granted him an aura of incredible mystique.

Momentarily dazed by the awesome vision that was Bai Zhi, Lin XiaoYi could only stare in speechless wonder.