Lin Yi rubbed his eyes.
Although his time in the Rule World corresponded to only five hours in the real world, he definitely hadn’t properly closed his eyes for many days.
He thought he was seeing wrong.
But this time, taking a closer look, Article 7 on page 7 of the rulebook did indeed say ‘No Rule’.
They had just come out of the 7-7 Rule World.
There hadn’t been any time to revise the rules yet.
Lin Yi felt as if he had discovered something extraordinary and he instinctively turned to look for Qin Zhou for confirmation.
He turned, took a few steps back the way he came then stopped.
It was getting dark and the campus rules stipulated that he shouldn’t be walking around the campus at night.
If he went dashing back to find Qin Zhou, not to mention that he might not even get to ask anything, he might even earn himself a knock on the head care of Qin Zhou.
After knowing that the campus rules was alive, Lin Yi didn’t dare to place his card between its pages.
It it somehow swallows his card, he, this social phobic, would be too embarrassed to ask Qin Zhou for another one.
With this in mind, Lin Yi carefully put the card in his pocket, sharing space with his MP3 player.
He then walked quickly to his assigned dormitory.
All the student dormitories of the Unnatural Engineering University were crowded together in one area.
There were three buildings in total and was no gender segregation.
Lin Yi went to the dorm auntie to get his key and when he saw the number on it, he was momentarily struck dumb.
It was a little too coincidental.
“Don’t lose your key.
It will be very troublesome if you do.” The dorm auntie gave the same warning to every student.
She then said: “Don’t go to the fourth and fifth floors if you’ve got no business there.
The fourth and fifth floors are for the girls.
Unless there are special circumstances, you’re not allowed there and credits will be deducted.”
Lin Yi nodded.
The dorm auntie said, “Why are you here so late Go unpack and head to bed.”
The dorm auntie lent Lin Yi some cleaning tools.
She then said, “It’s getting dark, so if you don’t dare to go downstairs at night, you can return them during the day tomorrow.”
“Thank you, Auntie.” Lin Yi politely thanked her and headed to his room, key and cleaning tools in hand.
The dormitory building he was assigned to had only single rooms.
The dorm looked as though it hasn’t been lived in for a long time.
Lin Yi opened the door and turned on the light with a ‘click’.
Dust motes rising and falling in the light were visible to the naked eye.
He was relatively late getting to the dorm but Lin Yi found that the freshmen who had arrived before him weren’t in any mood to clean their rooms.
Upon arriving, freshmen would helplessly begin to sob.
Crying can easily affect other’s emotions, so repressed whimpers or despairing howls echoed one after another throughout the building.
This was even more creepy than the 7-7 Rule World.
Lin Yi paid these no mind.
All he wanted right now was to sleep in his own bed.
And so, he quickly cleaned up his room.
When he was done though, his room still smelled of dust.
He originally wanted to open the window to air out the smell but the window was still sealed.
Although he knew that opening the window wouldn’t cause any problems anymore, doing so was troublesome.
So Lin Yi opened the door instead.
Upon opening the door, he found that the door of the dorm room opposite was also open.
The boy from the other room came out and caught sight of Lin Yi.
“Classmate, my name is Cheng Yang.” Cheng Yang chucked.
He stood by the door, holding a cigarette: “‘Cheng’ is the Cheng with the ‘grain’ character to one side and ‘Yang’ is the Yang from ‘sun’.
What about you”
Lin Yi: “…”
Seeing Cheng Yang’s face right now was making him a bit stressed.
Without waiting for Lin Yi to answer, Cheng Yang let out a “huh” and said strangely, “Classmate, have we met before”
“…No.” Lin Yi thought for a while and shook his head.
It wasn’t that he didn’t want acknowledge their acquaintanceship, but all he wanted now was to sleep.
If he admitted to knowing Cheng Yang, he’d have to spend time talking with him.
Some other day for sure.
Lin Yi saw the cigarette that Cheng Yang was offering.
He waved his hand to decline.
He said, mimicking the way Cheng Yang introduced himself.
“‘Lin’ with the double wood character and ‘Yi’ from ‘strange’.”
“Oh, you don’t smoke” Cheng Yang put the cigarette away.
“It’s pre-pretty good.”
Cheng Yang was chatting awkwardly.
Lin Yi knew that Cheng Yang was scared and that this awkward conversation was a way for him to divert his attention.
He said, comfortingly, “Cheng Yang Xiong, reciting aloud prosperity, democracy and harmony is very effective.”
Cheng Yang was stunned.
“Have you finished cleaning” Lin Yi asked.
“I haven’t started yet.” Cheng Yang glanced at his own dorm room.
He then realized that Lin Yi was tactfully ending the conversation and quickly said, “Then you…then you clean up first.”
Lin Yi was planning to return the cleaning tools to the dorm auntie.
He hadn’t received a class schedule yet, so he guessed that he wouldn’t need to be in class so soon.
If he returned the cleaning tools today, he can sleep as long as he wants tonight.
Just as Cheng Yang was about to go back to his room, he turned around again.
“That, Lin… Lin Yi, where did you buy your cleaning tools”
Lin Yi said, “The dorm auntie can…”
Before he could finish speaking, he was interrupted by the ringing of his phone.
Lin Yi took out his mobile phone from his pocket.
Cheng Yang took out his phone as well.
Both his and Cheng Yang’s phones had rung at the same time.
And it wasn’t only their phones, Lin Yi heard the phones ringing throughout the entire floor.
The caller ID for the incoming call wasn’t a phone number but two words— Student Union.
Lin Yi looked at Cheng Yang’s phone screen.
Like his, it was also a call from the student union.
There was no option to accept or reject on the phone screen.
After the ringing, a human voice rang out, like a school radio announcer: “All freshmen are to immediately gather in the first floor hall of the dormitory.
All freshmen students must be there within three minutes.
Be late at your own risk.”
The voice delivered its message only once and then their phones went silent.
Lin Yi saw Cheng Yang paused momentarily.
He then ecstatically tried to dial a call out.
But as soon as he brough the phone to his ear, Cheng Yang put it down again in disappointment.
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.
The cell phones still didn’t have ay signal.
They couldn’t contact or be contacted by the outside world.
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After a night in the inn and seeing the campus room suddenly turn into quick sand, add to that the absolutely bizarre way the student union sent this announcement, none of the freshmen dared to disobey.
They all left their rooms and headed to the first floor hall as instructed.
Lin Yi closed his door and bringing along the cleaning tools, he went with Cheng Yang to join the assembled crowd.
When they arrived at the first floor hall, it was already full of freshmen.
Although there were many people, it was surprisingly quiet.
Everyone’s eyes were fixed on dorm’s main doors.
Lin Yi was tall and raising his eyes slightly, he spotted several people by the main door.
They all had badges on their chests.
The badges had the student union’s logo and their respective names underneath.
The student council members checked the time.
Three minutes had passed.
But they obviously did not intend to speak yet.
Instead they whispered among themselves as they kept looking out the door.
“Zhou Ge’s not here yet”
“The meeting hasn’t ended yet.
They said for us to start first.”
“Then we won’t wait.” A tall girl looked at the gathered freshmen.
She then cleared her throat and said loudly, “I am the vice president of the student union, Ou Ying.
I’m very, very, very aware of what everyone must be feeling at this time and so, I’m giving everyone a minute to adjust their frame of mind.
In a minute, I will explain to you about the school.”
Everyone looked at each other.
The expressions on their faces showed fear without exception.
However, there was no other way.
They were all here.
What was going on in this was something they had to know.
Lin Yi stood at the back of the crowd.
Although Qin Zhou told him a lot about the Rule World, he only said a few words about this university.
He was also curious about the university.
So he patiently waited for this minute to pass.
Cheng Yang next to him let out another “Yi” again.
Lin Yi looked at him.
Cheng Yang laughed awkwardly.
He approached Lin Yi and said, “Classmate Lin Yi, don’t be fooled by my muscles.
Actually, my courage is inversely proportional to my stature but I don’t know why, when I stand beside you, there’s a damned feeling of safety that wells up inside of me.
It’s as if you’ve saved my life before.”
Lin Yi silently widened the distance between them and said, “Don’t be fooled by my calm.
Actually, I’m panicking right now.”
Cheng Yang said, “You certainly don’t look like it.”
Because of the jostling crowd, Cheng Yang was squeezed closer to Lin Yi.
He thought about it and said, “Classmate Lin Yi, since you called me ‘brother’, I’ll call you ‘Lin Yi Xiong’.
I hope you don’t mind.”
The words ‘Lin Yi Xiong’ stressed Lin Yi even further and he quickly said, “No, no, no.
You can just call me by my name.”
“Okay.” Cheng Yang said, “Lin Yi Xiong.”
Manly-man Lin Yi wanted to burst into tears.
With his conversation with Cheng Yang, a minute quickly passed.
Ou Ying began, “Alright, it’s time.”
All eyes fell on Ou Ying.
“What I say next might go against everything you believe.” Ou Ying first tried to prepare the freshemen.
After a short pause, she continued.
“The Unnatural Engineering University can also be considered as a monster breeding base.” Ou Ying said solemnly, “And I don’t mean figuratively.
There are many monsters here and they actually exist.
And you, we — everyone in this university are nourishment for the monsters.”
She emphasized the words ‘monster’ and ‘nourishment’.
The crowd suddenly became uneasy.
Cheng Yang was shivering at first but out of the corner of his eye, he caught a glimpse of Lin Yi looking perfectly calm.
He said in amazement, “Lin Yi Xiong, I really can’t see your internal panic at all.”
Lin Yi covered his face, feeling pained.
Ou Ying’s speech continued on.
She had given everyone time to adjust their mentality before she started, so now that she’s introducing the university, she didn’t give people time to digest these strange facts.
“The monsters are rules in the campus rulebook.
Each rule corresponds to a Monster.
Those who violate the rules will be dragged into Rule World, which, simply put, is the world of the Monsters.
If you die in the Rule World, you will also die in reality.
Don’t hold out hope that someone will come to save us.
We who have been selected by the school, regardless whether we live or die, will gradually be forgotten by those in the outside world.
Whether it’s our parents, partners or best friends, no matter how close the relationship, they will forget us, like we never even existed in this world.”
Anxiety intensified among the gathered crowd.
Cheng Yang’s mouth was in the shape of an ‘O’.
He was completely petrified.
“I’ll be forgotten…”
Lin Yi could actually understand Cheng Yang’s shock.
After all, the man next to him was the son of the richest man in Rong Province.
To be forgotten by a rich father was truly miserable.
Forgotten by relatives and friends, no one to care if they were alive and no one to remember them if they died.
At this moment, Lin Yi realized that Qin Zhou had another reason for insisting on insurance for all the students.
The insurance money wasn’t just a final consolation for their families, but also an attempt to leave some impression on their loved ones’ memories.
Their loved ones might no longer remember them but when the insurance payout arrives, their loved ones will be reacquainted with their names.
Lin Yi suddenly felt guilty having this card.
At the time, he had only been thinking that the insurance money wouldn’t any impact on his parents.
He didn’t expect there to be this additional layer to this matter.
He’ll have to find time to return the card to Qin Zhou.
But — that’s an unlimited card.
While Lin Yi was struggling with this decision, he heard Ou Ying continue, “The only ones who can save us are ourselves.
Please look at the rules.
Most of them already have solutions.
Today, a lot of you encountered the 3-7 Monster.
It’s the seventh rule on the third page.
When the cement turns into quicksand and you fail to leave in time, you will be dragged into the Rule World through the quicksand.
So everyone, you must be sure to memorize the campus rules.”
The freshmen looked at each other.
Some of them had come to the gathering with the campus rulebook.
The sound of flipping pages broke the deathly silence.
Suddenly someone asked, “Why is the sixth rule on the second page ‘to be added’.”
“The ninth rule on the third page is also ‘to be added’.”
“The fifth rule on page four too.”
“And rule five on page eight!”
Hearing these voices, Lin Yi was slightly taken aback.
Truth be told, he hasn’t had time carefully read through the campus rulebook.
His parents had stopped him from reading it when he was at home during the summer vacation.
The admission notice stated that it was forbidden to lend out the campus rulebook to others and he didn’t dare to take it out to study enroute to the school.
When he finally got to school, he was immediately dragged into the 7-7 Rule World.
Lin Yi didn’t expect that there would be so many ‘to be added’ rules.
The rules that had the ‘to be added’ note meant that there was no way to deal with it yet.
Ou Ying answered everyone’s questions, “But do not worry too much.
So far, aside from Rule 7-7, the occurrence rate for the unresolved rules is not high.”
Someone flipped through the campus rulebook and asked, perplexed, “What’s the 7-7 Rule”
Although Ou Ying thought his question was strange, the answer was clearly in the campus rulebook, having been entrusted with this task by the student union president, she still tried her best to answer everyone’s questions.
So she patiently replied, “All windows on campus are sealed, when an open window appears (to be added).”
“Doesn’t that mean that if the window suddenly opens, the 7-7 Monster has come for you We have no way to escape.
We’ll just be dragged into the Rule World and die”
Someone discovered what ‘we have no way to deal with it yet’ really meant.
Like a drop of water falling into a pan of boiling oil, the restlessness spread throughout.
“Entering the Rule World doesn’t necessarily mean death, but the survival rate is not high.” Ou Ying glanced at the boy who spoke.
“But you don’t have to worry too much.
The school has relevant preventative measures in place to strengthen efforts to ensure everyone’s safety.”
“Re…really” A timid girl was already crying.
When she heard Ou Ying’s words, she raised her eyes, looking at her as though she was seeing a life-saving straw.
Ou Ying said, “Credits, grade points and your usual performance will be recorded and ranked by the student union.
Students on the lower end of the rankings will be actively placed into unresolved Rule Worlds.
So long as the number of people entering the Rule World reaches a certain number, no other people will be dragged in until the instance refreshes.”
There was a moment of dead silence in the first floor dorm hall.
Then it touched bottom and boomeranged back.
“What… what do you mean”
“You…you’ll sacrifice us to the Monsters”
Ou Ying looked silently at everyone, acquiescing to their words.
At this time, someone suddenly thought of something and shouted, “How can you do that! Why does your student union get to decide our life and death!”
It was the stone that stirred up a thousand waves.
“Why! Why do you get to do this! What right do you have!”
“Then what about your student union” Since it’s the student union that records the ranking then you’d never send in your student union members.
We’re not going in there to die in place of the student union.
Why the hell would we!”
While angry words poured out in torrents, Lin Yi’s eyes watched his nose while his nose watched his heart.
Lin Yi remembered how, during the self-introduction in the 7-7 Rule World, before they were dragged in, Wang Duo and Xu Xiazhi hadn’t been taking it easy or playing ball but rather, studying.
It turned out that Wang Duo and Xu Xiazhi’s diligence was because of this.
Everyone glared at the student union members.
Ou Ying had expected this reaction.
She explained, “This is the school’s rule.
At present, the student union has been dealing with the school.
Until a solution is found, the student union assures everyone that it conducts all operations honestly and transparently.
The student union is working to find ways to protect everyone.”
But at this time, the noise was almost loud enough to bring the roof down and no one could hear Ou Ying’s words.
Beside Ou Ying, someone whispered something to her.
Ou Ying’s expression changed.
She called for quiet from the freshmen several times.
“I would like to issue a correction.
The 7-7 Rule has disappeared…” Ou Ying made it halfway through her sentence before she furrowed his brows.
Everyone was still focused on the student union’s sacrifice of the students and they glared at Ou Ying.
No one cared about Ou Ying’s corrected information correction.
Lin Yi pursed his lips.
Beside him, Cheng Yang, after being surprised, scratched his head.
“That’s it, I’m done for.
I’m someone who falls asleep as soon as I open a book.”
Then, he asked Lin Yi, “Lin Yi Xiong, how about you”
Lin Yi was fully regretting his slip of the tongue which led to Cheng Yang’s endless ‘Lin Yi Xiong’, ‘Lin Yi Xiong’.
He was about to beg Cheng Yang not to call him that when a cold voice interrupted him.
——“The noisy troublemaker, the one in yellow, come here.”
This voice was most familiar to Lin Yi.
The owner of the card that he didn’t really want to return had finally arrived.
Holding the card in his pocked, Lin Yi looked up.
Qin Zhou had come striding in from outside.
He zeroed in on the boy in yellow and bodily dragged him out of the crowd.
Lin Yi knew Qin Zhou’s strength.
The yellow-shirted boy struggled a few times to no avail; until Qin Zhou finally let him go.
Qin Zhou: “What are you yapping on about”
The boy in the yellow shirt reddened.
Overwhelmed by Qin Zhou’s aura, his voice instantly weakened: “Why does your student council get to decide the life and death of others”
Qin Zhou asked again, “Have you seen it with your own eyes”
The yellow shirt choked.
He mumbled, “It doesn’t take a genius to figure it out…otherwise, why set up this rule This rule isn’t to protect all of us, it’s to protect your student union.
What ‘it’s the school’s rule’.
I think it’s your student union’s rule!”
“So what you want is to abolish this rule and let monsters find their prey at will.
No matter how hard you work, no much you try to be careful, death will still follow you Every minute and every second, you’ll be on your toes knowing you can die at any time” Qin Zhou stared at him.
“Or do you think of yourself as some kind of Ouhuang, that you’ll never be targeted by the Monsters; that those who are targeted by Monsters deserve it for being unlucky Yellow bro, is this what you mean Of course, you can write an opinion letter and send it to the university president’s mailbox.
This is your right.”
Yellow shirt was once again struck dumb.
He couldn’t guarantee that he wouldn’t be targeted.
Everyone here was under the same possibility of being found by the Monsters.
Truthfully, this method was just barely able make the students feel at ease and give them a little hope of survival.
So long as they kept their grades up and made sure their performance in school was good, the probability of death would be greatly reduced.
But Yellow shirt still haltingly said, “Will the student union send in their own people to feed the Monsters You’re trading other people’s lives for your own.”
Qin Zhou was too lazy to explain.
He stood on the opposite side of the crowd and swept his eyes over them.
“Then, I’ll give you a chance to join the student union.
If you want to join the student union, raise your hand.
Let me see.”
The crowd hesitated for a while.
No one raised their hand.
“I’ll really let you join.
I’m not lying.
Anyone who lies is a son of a b*tch.” Qin Zhou said: “Anyway, there are no requirements for joining the student union.
Anyone who wants to join, can.”
The freshmen just kept looking at each other.
Yellow shirt gritted his teeth and raised his hand high.
Led by Yellow shirt, the other freshmen also raised their hands.
Slowly, the entire first floor of the dormitory turned into a dense ‘arm forest’.
“Did everyone raise their hands” Qin Zhou asked but he wasn’t surprised.
He whispered to Ou Ying.
“Ou Ying, sign them up.”
Lin Yi didn’t raise his hand.
He actually knew that Qin Zhou had always been trying to protect them.
Across the dense ‘arm forest’, Lin Yi also noticed that Qin Zhou seemed to be angry.
In order appease his conscience for keeping Qin Zhou’s unlimited card, he quickly spoke out, trying to ingratiate himself to him: “Senior, I… I won’t join.”
God knows how much energy it took for this social phobic to say that out loud.
His voice attracted countless eyes, including Qin Zhou’s.
Qin Zhou looked at Lin Yi.
He then he crooked his finger at him.
He pointed to the spot next to him.
Lin Yi was the focus of so many gazes.
The social phobic, amidst the complicated gazes, braced himself and stepped forward.
Cheng Yang saw his brother come forward, and he immediately put down his hand and said loudly, “I’m not joining either.”
Lin Yi: “…”
Qin Zhou glanced at Cheng Yang.
“You come too.”
So Lin Yi, Cheng Yang and the students from the student union stood on opposite side to the crowd.
Cheng Yang didn’t feel uncomfortable at all.
He leaned over said quietly to Lin Yi, “Lin Yi Xiong, I definitely deserve to be called a true friend, huh”
Lin Yi collapsed and said hoarsely, “…Just call me Lin Yi.
Cheng Yang chuckled ‘hehe’.
“You’re my bro and this is just something I gotta do.
No need to feel pressured.”
Lin Yi decided to tell Cheng Yang all about the 7-7 Rule World after this meeting, no matter how many hours it takes.
Sure enough, lazy people ought to meet divine retribution.
Ou Ying organized the new students who were going to join the student union to line up to register.
Qin Zhou heard Lin Yi and Cheng Yang’s whispered exchange and looked back at Lin Yi.
After a swift glance at Lin Yi, Qin Zhou withdrew his gaze.
Then Qin Zhou looked at the queue for registration and said, “I’ll give you an overview of the responsibilities of a student union member.”
Everyone automatically turned towards Qin Zhou.
Qin Zhou said unhurriedly, “The main task of the student union is to monitor.
We check each student’s course credits and conduct.
We also check problem students.
Our secondary responsibility is to be on duty.
Let me explain what it means to be ‘on duty’ because it’s most likely difference from what your normal idea of what it is to be ‘on duty’.
When it is your turn to be on duty, you are stationed in places that Monsters regularly haunt.
You have to warn the students not to get dragged into the Rule World.”
“Sound easy” Qin Zhou looked back at everyone.
The freshmen were stunned.
They never expected the situation to turn out like this.
Stand guard at a Monster’s hunting ground.
Wasn’t this courting death
“Of course, there’s also a task that’s a bit more difficult than that.” Qin Zhou lit a cigarette.
“The student council has a death squad that actively enters the Rules Worlds.
As you can guess, members take turns being part of the death squad.”
This time, the first floor of the dormitory fell completely silent.
“Do you still want to join the student union” Qin Zhou asked.
No one raised their hands anymore.
Those who had already filled out the registration form revealed expressions of regrets on their faces.
“Qin Zhou, student union president.
Come to me if there’s something you’re not happy about.
Don’t go mouthing off to our members.” Qin Zhou leaned against the wall and said coldly.
No one spoke.
Qin Zhou glanced at everyone.
“Now, get out of here and memorize the campus rules.
Wait for your advisor’s notice tomorrow for what you’ll do next.”