Chapter 1167: Entering Parallel Dungeon
Zhang Heng glanced at the starfish on his wrist. It was getting closer and closer to the point where they had stayed in the dungeon for a full five days.
This was not good news for Zhang Heng.
This time, the time flow of the dungeon was precisely one hour to 60 days. Zhang Heng entered the dungeon at 23:55 in the real world as usual, which meant that there were only five minutes until the pointer pointed to 24. This meant that the dungeon time was exactly five days.
If he subtracted the five seconds before entering the dungeon, it meant that he would be able to enter the extra 24 hours in less than five days.
The extra time in the previous dungeon had helped him a lot, which was also why his skills had improved so quickly. However, this time, the 24 hours would put him in an extremely dangerous situation.
This was because the 24 hours converted into the time of the dungeon was about four years. Typically, four years would not be a problem for Zhang Heng, but this time, he had been exposed to radiation at the start, and even though his current physical performance was the best among all the players, Zhang Heng was not sure if he could survive the four years.
Especially considering the situation with the young man and mouse, each of them looked weaker than the last. They might not even last a month.
Of course, there were other players in this dungeon. Unlike Zhang Heng, who usually cleared dungeons alone, the system would probably choose to reopen a parallel dungeon and throw him in alone. That was how the system had dealt with him back in the Apollo program training camp. As long as he could survive four years in the parallel dungeon, then return to the current dungeon, he should return to his physical condition before entering the parallel dungeon.
This was half good news for Zhang Heng. Of course, the prerequisite was that he could survive the four years in the parallel instance dungeon.
Zhang Heng didn’t have any good ideas on how to deal with this. He still had a mission failure exemption card with him, and he had spent 400 game points to buy this card from the bartender; its purpose was to help the holder escape the punishment of mission failure.
In other dungeons, Zhang Heng could completely ignore the main storyline mission. He could just find a cat anywhere and wait until the game time was up before returning to the real world. However, this time, the game was a rare time-free dungeon, and he could only leave after completing the quest. Thus, it meant Zhang Heng had entered an endless loop.
What was bound to come would still come. At 11:23, the familiar feeling of dizziness assaulted him.
At the same time, a familiar system notification sounded in Zhang Heng’s ears.
[Ding! Parallel dungeon has been activated. This dungeon is the Invisible Killer transition dungeon. Player count: 1. Mission Target: None. Time: 1,440 days. Attention, player!]
Zhang Heng’s vision suddenly darkened. At the same time, a popular song, “Night in the Moscow suburbs,” started playing in his ears.
This song had become a well-known Soviet classic ever since it won the gold medal at the 6th World Youth Festival in 1957.
However, the music did not last long. Zhang Heng felt the light from the outside world again, and he opened his eyes.
Finding himself standing beside a river, he quickly recognized it.
The Pripyat River had always been very special. It was slightly brown because it had once flowed through the peat swamp of Boryspil, which was full of fatty acids. The river also flowed rapidly and violently, just like the young city built next to it. It gave people a sense of vitality.
However, the city behind Zhang Heng still looked very different from before. It was not only because it had regained its vitality but also because the residents who lived here had returned to their homes. The streets were filled with traffic, where young men drove their beloved Volga sedans and madly honked the girls on the street.
Zhang Heng also noticed that the buildings here were newer than when he first arrived, and there was no Ferris wheel in the park. He knew that he had come to the town of Pripyat, but he was not sure what year it was.
Pripyat had been under construction since 1970, and judging from its current size, it should have been built some time ago. Moreover, from where Zhang Heng was standing, he could see the tall cooling towers of the nuclear power plant in the distance. According to Bryuhanov, reactor No. 1 of the nuclear power plant had been in operation since 1977. Therefore, Zhang Heng could roughly guess that he was probably in the timeline between 1977 and 1986, before the explosion.
This was already a tight margin, and Zhang Heng was not in the mood to tour the atomic city at the moment. He wanted to know what kind of radiation he was exposed to, so he followed his memory and first went to the Pripyat Hotel. There, he found the waitress who spoke English.
He even grabbed a few wallets from passerbys on the way to the hotel, which enabled Zhang Heng and the waitress to finally agree on a salary—with a high price of 10 rubles a day, he successfully persuaded the waitress to become his Ukrainian and Russian teacher. At the same time, she agreed to take Zhang Heng to the hospital in Kiev for a check-up.
The two of them arrived in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, by train that night, where Zhang Heng would receive a full check-up at the city’s biggest hospital. Unlike the medical center in Pripyat, a complete set of equipment to test the radiation dose was available.
The test process didn’t last long, but for Zhang Heng, the waiting for the result did indeed feel a little draggy.
The doctor in charge of attending him was a woman of serious countenance in her fifties, especially apparent when she received Zhang Heng’s test report.
“Are you his family member?” she asked the hotel receptionist,
The latter nodded. “I’m his wife. My man is a mute. He hasn’t been able to speak since he was born.”
“What does he do?” the doctor went on asking.
“He works at a nuclear power plant, dealing with nuclear waste.”
“That explains.” The female doctor tried to sound as gentle as possible. Softly, she continued, “I’m afraid I have some bad news for you, madam. I hope you’re mentally prepared.”
“It’s very likely that your man came into close contact with the nuclear waste, which caused him to absorb a lot of radiation.”
“How much?” The hotel receptionist asked nervously.
“About 450 roentgen.” The female doctor looked at Zhang Heng with a hint of sympathy. “He has third-degree radiation sickness, and he needs to be hospitalized immediately. We need you to sign the admission form first, madam.”