Chapter 31: Tokyo Drift I
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Zhang Heng was preparing himself up to the sacrificial lamb, but the bartender answered nonchalantly, “Since you’ve had a taste of my masterpiece, I’ll give you a tip—if you want to use the box to store the game items, I suggest that you forget about it.”
“Didn’t I tell you the last time? Only game items can travel freely between the game and real world. To ensure fairness for everyone, you’re forbidden to bring things from the game back to reality, nor can you bring anything from the real world into the game. So, the only thing the Tule box can do is to contain game items for you here in the real world. You’ll have to figure out a way to do that yourself on the other side.”
“The wooden Tule box is not a game item?”
The bartender shook her head. “There are very few things that can be called a game item, even the lowest F-grade ones. But there are game items that function almost like the Tule box. That’ll all depend on your luck. You can also wait till the year-end auction. There’ll be a lot of goodies there! Of course, provided that your pockets are not empty!”
For now, there was nothing Zhang Heng could do to get a suitable object to store game items. It was not an urgent matter, so he would have no choice but to heed the bartender’s words, noting to himself that most game items became effective upon direct contact.
All he had to do was to be careful and perhaps put on a glove or something to minimize risk.
If he stayed on, he might be coerced into tasting some other strange drinks, so Zhang Heng left the bar.
He picked an empty booth and found a small alarm clock under the seat.
Even though that extra 24 hours had prolonged his hardship on the island, he had to admit that the rewards were not insignificant either.
His time he spent in the game was 12 times longer than other players, which gave him a better opportunity to explore the island. Considering the dire consequences that game over could bring, he would have to rely on this ability of his for the rest of it.
He only hoped that it was not some remote and humanless place again this time.
He set the time on the clock to 23:55 before leaning back onto the padded seat and rested his eyes.
After about half an hour, a dizziness filled his head, and he felt weak. It was as if he’d been swallowed by a night hag, having none of the energy to even lift a finger.
Then that familiar voice rang in his ear again.
[Verifying player’s identity…]
[Identity confirmed. Random extraction of newcomer’s quest for player number 07958…]
[Extraction complete—Current quest is Tokyo Drift!]
“Tokyo—an international metropolis with a population of 37 million, deserving of its reputation as the center of Japan’s politics, economy, and culture. During the day, this place is the vanity fair for financiers and politicians, but the grand opening of the truly entertaining stories only take place against the backdrop of the night… Will you, an exchange student from China, be able to leave your mark and become a legend here?
[Mission objective: Win first place in an underground drifting championship.]
[Mode: Single player.]
[Time flow rate: 360] (One hour in the real world is equivalent to 15 days in this game. After 60 days, the player will be extracted and returned to the real world.]
A friendly reminder: the game will begin in 5 seconds. Players, please get ready!
Zhang Heng opened his eyes and found himself standing right in the middle of a crossroad.
Perhaps his prayers had been heard by someone. This place was the exact opposite or his first game on the desert island!—he was surrounded by colorful neon lights and advertisement boards, a seemingly endless number of people strolled past him, speaking an unfamiliar language that he only heard on tv and games before.
A phone rang somewhere blaring a tune alike Mika Nakashima’s ‘The Reason Why I Thought I’d Die’. There were a few youths zipping through the crowd on skateboards.
Hot young girls sported miniskirts, and middle-aged salarymen in suits clutched onto their briefcases as they hailed for cabs. Zhang Heng even spotted a large number of western faces. It was night, yet it appeared to be livelier than during the day!
Tsk-tsk! This was indeed the world’s largest hotpot of urbanization!
After Zhang Heng was sure of signs of danger in his surroundings, he checked his personal profile.
Name: Zhang Heng
Player ID: 07958
Current game points: 24
Skills: Piano, Level 1; Language proficiency: Level 1 (both languages at general communication skills level); Archery skills: Level 2; Wilderness survival skills: Level 2
Item in possession: Lucky Rabbit’s Foot (E)
Assessment: The player has slightly better luck than the average person, but otherwise, do not possess qualities that are worth commending. Has minimal wilderness survival and archery skills. Not expected to last longer than the first five rounds.
Although Heng had been practicing rock climbing and photography for the past month, it appeared that neither of these skills even made it to level 0, which was why they were not displayed in the skills section.
Other than that, the biggest change was the addition of an ‘item in possession’ category and the rabbit foot’s effects. His assessment was now slightly different too. At least he had gotten rid of that comment about him being unremarkable. Still, he might not be able to make it far enough.
Once he had reviewed his current status, Zhang Heng took in his surroundings again. The place was thriving. Right opposite him was an emporium with a giant outdoor LED screen playing a SONY earbuds commercial. Bustling shops and bright neon signs crowded the entire skyline. It was quite crowded, indeed.
This place… looked a lot like Shibuya!
Zhang Heng had tagged along with his mum on a trip to Tokyo to attend an academic conference when he was much younger. But his memory of that time was little fuzzy now because the conference was lengthy and he spent most of the time cooped up in hotel rooms. It was only on the last day, that his mother had brought him out shopping in Shibuya. She got him a PSP before they left, which was why he had some sort of impression at all of this place.
Getting to play the game in a thriving civilization was a good thing, but the situation was still slightly delicate.
For the most part, Zhang Heng did not understand Japanese at all. Even though there were Chinese characters in the words which allowed him to guess the approximate meaning on the signboards, at this rate, he would not be able to carry out his mission. How could they just leave him here?
He played the role of an exchange student in the game. This meant that he would not have to worry about his accommodation at the very least. There was no mention, however, the name of his school. There were dozens of universities in Tokyo – national, public, and private. He could not possibly go around asking each one of them.
In a time as such, Zhang Heng decided he might as well find out what he was carrying on his character.
He began searching his pockets when a girl in a short skirt suddenly ran towards him, huffing and puffing, carrying two ice cream cones in her hands! “Zhang Heng! Thank God you’re here! I was scared to death! I thought I lost you on your first day here!”
The girl exhaled in relief when she saw him.
The traffic light on the opposite lit up green.
“Ah, crap. We’re running out of time! Let’s go!” The girl said, pulling his hand.