Underworld Playerchapter 48: save dave

Prosperity Mall was Marina City's largest shopping center, and the crowd of shoppers on a regular day like this was enough to put holiday crowds elsewhere to shame.

Bai Zhi stepped off the bus, adjusting his earbuds before stepping into the mall with a spring in his step. Before him, on a screen that only he could see, several lines of text were being rapidly refreshed.

[ A Player has entered the Game Access Area ]

[ Please find a suitable location to access the game ]

[ Current Extraction: 0.1% ]

[ 152 Players have entered the Game ]

[ 2 : 32 : 54 ]

"Half an hour since the Game appeared, over a hundred Players tried it and only 0.1% Extraction?"

Bai Zhi quirked a skeptical brow, then, quickly scanning his surroundings and finding no witnesses, quickly ducked into an empty restroom stall.

Upon confirming his intent to enter the Game, a silvery glow began to envelop Bai Zhi's body, gradually intensifying in brightness until suddenly, his body disappeared.

When he opened his eyes, he found himself standing alone in an empty, white room. Before he could inspect the room, a character creation interface drew his attention by popping up in front of him.

Is this a freebie offered to Players entering the Game for the first time?

"Players may change their appearance when next entering the Game for 100 Coins each time... What a racket."

Quickly skimming the rest of the explanation, Bai Zhi didn't bother being fastidious, and soon put together a satisfactory look.

As the interface faded, the room transformed from an empty, white room to a more typical-looking room in a house somewhere. Then, a new screen with information about the Game popped into view.

[ Game Name: Save Dave ]

[ Game Type: Casual Puzzle ]

[ Description: You and your friends have trapped Dave, the zombies' best friend, in your house, and the zombies will stop at nothing to get in! Have your weapons and your plants at the ready to defend your home! ]

[ Game Clear Rewards (Per Wave Survived): Random Plant Shard ×1, 100 Experience points, 100 Coins ]

[ Penalty for Failure: Permanent loss of 2 points in random attribute ]

[ Individual Extraction: 0.00% ]

[ Overall Extraction: 0.02% ]

[ Clear Condition: Unlock all Plants ]

"Uh... This game seems... familiar."

Bai Zhi's brows drew together and the corners of his mouth tensed as he read the information presented to him.

Just then, there were some flashes of light, and three figures appeared in the room with him.

[ Player Late Night Kitty has joined the party ]

[ Player Nine-Tailed Fox has joined the party ]

[ Player Mustachio has joined the party ]

Bai Zhi was still processing the fact of these three additions to the party when Mustachio, who had adopted the look of a seasoned, hard-boiled older man, exclaimed with pleasant surprise, "My, aren't those some familiar names?"

While Players were able to change the look of their character, their handle did not change. The Shop did not offer any items that allowed Players to change their handle, so as long as a Player was alive, they could reliably be identified by their handle.

Thus, despite looking completely different from when they met during their Newbie Run, Mustachio quickly spotted his old teammates.

[ Mustachio Lv 2 ]

[ Late Night Kitty Lv 2 ]

[ Nine-Tailed Fox Lv 4 ]

[ Black&White Lv 3 ]

Of the four, the Player known as Nine-Tailed Fox was the highest-leveled. They had the appearance of a well-mannered, sensitive young man, and the handle alone, which was bursting with feminine character, was enough to attract plenty of attention, even if they weren't the highest-leveled Player.

"Umm... Why's everyone staring at me, stop~" said Nine-Tailed Fox bashfully, placing a hand on his head and turning slightly away. "Fox spirits can be male too..."

"No queens, no malewives and certainly not twinks for me," said a stony-faced Bai Zhi.


"Boys, boys!" Mustachio cut in. "We're all here to clear this Game, aren't we? It's probably a small game, just a casual puzzle, and the penalty is on the lighter side, but I'm sure none of us wants to spoil it for everyone and lose two attribute points over nothing, right?"

Seeing that the situation was going downhill fast, Mustachio, who had a good grasp on the character of the Player known as Black&White by now, swiftly defused the tension, casting an apologetic look at Nine-Tailed Fox.

To Bai Zhi, he said, "This time, you call the shots, all right?"

Black&White had his unpleasant quirks, but there was no denying that if it hadn't been for his genius, their Newbie Run would most likely have ended in a team wipe.

Are they both...?

The thought flitted across Bai Zhi's mind as he caught the look that Mustachio gave Nine-Tailed Fox, but he responded to the question by nodding as if it were only natural.

"Very well, this way," said Bai Zhi and led the way out of the room, pausing only to glance quizzically at Late Night Kitty, who had been frowning at him as if trying to work some problem out, ever since she entered the Game.

However, as soon as he scanned the living room, Bai Zhi backpedaled smartly and whipped out a pair of glasses from his Inventory, handing them over to Late Night Kitty.

"You'd best put these on."

"Glasses? But I'm not shortsighted, why—" A bewildered but curious Late Night Kitty accepted the glasses and tried them on.

"Hey, I can't see two feet in front of me with these things!" As fast as she had put them on, she took them off again.

"There's a body in the living room that's bound to give you nightmares; I'm not planning on losing a party member right at the start, and out of battle, too," replied Bai Zhi without hesitation, then he walked out again.

In that time, Mustachio and Nine-Tailed Fox had both entered the living room and seen the body leaning against the back of the couch and slightly askew, with its cracked-open skull that lolled forward, spilling its contents out amongst the rest of the blood and gore.

Mustachio seemed to be handling it well, but from Nine-Tailed Fox's ashen face and the trace of sick on his sleeve, that guy looked like he was barely holding on.


Bai Zhi walked around the corpse, making a crude frame with his fingers and looking through it from different angles, then nodding thoughtfully.

"What's the matter? Have you found something? asked Mustachio as he joined Bai Zhi, doing his best to avert his eyes from the mangled remains.

He had utmost confidence in Bai Zhi's deductions. With fifteen minutes left to the start of the first wave, that meant plenty of time to gather critical information to improve their odds of survival.

Bai Zhi turned to Mustachio and said gravely, "It suddenly occurred to me that I was so busy moving house that I haven't eaten all day. I'm getting peckish.

"I just pictured a soft bean curd, topped with a drizzle of chili oil*, and..."


Before Bai Zhi made it halfway through his vivid description, Nine-Tailed Fox could be seen doubled over with one hand on the sofa for support, hurling his guts out...

*The raw for "soft bean curd" is 豆腐脑, where 豆腐 is tofu and the word 脑, taken literally, means brains. As for chili oil... Mmm, yummy