IWOL Chapter 177: Prisoner Zero

The entire prison had become purgatory.

In the eighth hour after jailbreaking was allowed, the prisoner numbered S000001 was finally released.
  
The program called “Skaros—072” was running in an orderly manner. Ten monsters imprisoned deep underground wandered in this enclosed prison, hunting and gorging on flesh and blood, venting the cruel nature that had been suppressed for a hundred years.

Those extraordinarily wicked criminals who could cause huge riots in the outside world were like newly born lambs, waiting to be slaughtered, helpless to fight back.
  
With the extra vision the surveillance cameras provided him, Dong Zheng barely avoided the monsters. But as time passed by, more and more buildings were destroyed, leaving very few cameras intact enough for him to control.

He must find a safe hiding place as soon as possible.

But was there really a safe place here?
  
Dong Zheng didn’t understand why they had to undergo such a difficult elimination game just for the sake of tickets. If it wasn’t because the clown was crazy and wanted them all to die, then what other purpose did he have?

The girl in the wheelchair’s “come to me” hung over Dong Zheng’s thoughts. Intuition told him that this was probably an important breakthrough.

Dong Zheng observed that the prisoners who chose not to participate in the escape were no longer in their respective cells. The prison authorities probably took them away, so as not to harm them after the program was launched.

There should only be S-numbered monsters and prisoners trying to escape the prison. So, what was that girl?

Only when he finds her would he know.

The light blue nano-shield that was like a hexagonal honeycomb structure was shining under the attacks of a huge tentacled monster, but it eventually shattered as the attacks became increasingly more violent. The building it was protecting half-crumbled, throwing dust everywhere. Figures flew out from the windows, hurriedly fleeing in all directions.

“What the hell was this fucking thing?!” the pink giant who was originally Dong Zheng’s cell neighbor exclaimed, shocked. “The people in charge of this prison wanted us to die! I knew this jailbreaking activity was a lie!”

Not in that building.

A voice in Dong Zheng’s thoughts said to him.

Dong Zheng stuck closely to the wall, following the building’s structure, and quickly ran to another building opposite an outside walkway. According to its structure and style, it must be an office space.
  
Yes, this is it.

That faint thought surfaced once again. If it was an ordinary person, he might regard this as his own subconscious speaking to him, but Dong Zheng immediately noticed the oddity.

Those weren’t his thoughts at all; someone was controlling his thoughts.

He frowned. As his ability became stronger, the firewall in his kernel space became reinforced by four layers, firmly defending his world inside. Even Fu Zhe wouldn’t be able to do anything to his spiritual world.

Dong Zheng temporarily stopped; he couldn’t afford to ignore any abnormalities in his kernel.

—Do not stop.
  
A thought that didn’t belong to him once again surfaced in his mind. But this time, the person seemed to have understood that Dong Zheng had already noticed the intrusion. The thought was no longer hinted, and instead became an open and honest dialogue.

—Hurry up and find me. Or it will be too late if this continues.
  
“Who are you?” Dong Zheng asked.

—The building in front. Take the safe passage and go down to the second floor. I am inside the door at the end of the corridor. I need your help.
  
Leaving this thought, the consciousness fell silent no matter how Dong Zheng called.

Well, it seemed that the only thing he could do now was to go to her.

Dong Zheng didn’t doubt that something was up. She might be like that large insect in the undergrounding parking garage in Snow Parasite Trail. The girl was also likely one of the S-numbered creatures, tempting him to her and turning him into Chinese food.

But in the end he still ran into the administration building and opened the door to the safe passage.

Maybe it was his intuition. Cui Zuojing had told him once, in Doll’s House, that sometimes it’s not a good thing to ignorantly avoid all possible danger.

He had always kept Cui Zuojing’s teachings in his mind.

Finally, Dong Zheng was on the second floor, standing in front of the door at the end of the corridor. The underground layer weakened the chaotic rumblings outside, turning the noises dull and indistinct. He raised his hand and gently touched the door. It was made of a special metal, leaving no place at all to open it.

A black and red logo was painted on the door. The red line slashed across the black circle like a streak of blood, completely destroying the security it represented. Even though there was no text, the graphic alone was enough to make people feel that it represented extreme danger.

Was that girl in there? If what he saw in the temple wasn’t an illusion, there should be a surveillance camera inside the room.

Dong Zheng took a step back and separated his stream of consciousness, which sank into the wall, successfully found the camera, and invaded it.
  
For some reason, the camera was turned off, making it impossible for him to look inside the room. When Dong Zheng was about to open the heavy door in front of him, it suddenly opened without warning.

Caught off guard, Dong Zheng and the girl in the wheelchair looked at each other.

“You’re finally here,” she said, her breathing coming out light and short.

As he’d seen from the temple, the girl was very frail. She wore a thin dress, and her face was pale with hardly any color on her lips, as if she’d been sick for a long time. But the look in her eyes wasn’t frail at all.

“Weren’t you locked in?” Dong Zheng glanced at the door that lay completely opened behind her. Compared to a normal prison cell, the room behind the door looked more like a formal room, with all the necessary beds and furniture. It looked like she’d been living in it for a long time.
  
“If I had wanted to get out of it, no one would be able to stop me,” the girl said.

The conversation was fairly mild. The other party didn’t seem to want to harm him. Dong Zheng asked directly, “Why do you want me to come over?”

“I want to ask you something.” The girl took two steps forward, coming closer to Dong Zheng. “Can you take me out?”
  
Dong Zheng was a little surprised. “Take you out? Haven’t you already come out of the cell? Or did you want to escape from this prison?”

“Neither.” She raised her finger to the ceiling above her head. “For me, whether I leave the cell or leave the jail, it would be as easy as breathing. What I want is to leave this box.”

Leave the box?

This was the second NPC Dong Zheng had met who knew that she was in a box. Ficks recovered his memory through the changes in his identity and understood where he was. Was it the same for this girl?

No, she seemed different from Ficks. She seemed…more like she was trapped in this box.

“Why should I agree?” Dong Zheng said. “Since you’re locked here, it meant that someone didn’t want you out.”

“Whether you want to or not, it’s useless now.” The girl’s voice was cold and straightforward. “From the moment you saw me, I’ve already gotten out. Unless you choose to stay in this box forever.

Dong Zheng’s expression changed slightly. He immediately checked his kernel space and found a thin figure sitting in a wheelchair on the kernel’s information highway.

When did she break through his firewall and entered without him noticing? Dong Zheng didn’t know.
  
Under the purple shielded path, the girl and him were separated by nearly 100 meters.

After staring at each other in silence for a few seconds, she stood up from the wheelchair and said, “This is your spiritual space?”

Dong Zheng did not answer. He stared at the girl and his fists silently clenched, alert to any changes that might occur.

His ability was closely related to his mental state. If his kernel space was destroyed on a large scale, it would also affect his brain.

“Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you so easily.” The girl seemed to know what he was thinking. She observed the scene within his kernel, and when she noticed the temple high in the sky, she paused slightly before turning to face Dong Zheng. “As long as you take me out.”

He was threatened.
  
Dong Zheng only spent a second to recognize and accept the matter at hand. He didn’t feel annoyed or anxious about it, and so he didn’t waste time with more words. He directly said, “What benefits can you give me?”

“This place has become very dangerous for you. I heard the broadcast announcing the release of those things,” the girl said. “I can ensure your safety. As long as I am here, they won’t be able to hurt you.”

Dong Zheng pondered for a little bit. In any case, he couldn’t change the status quo, and the other side was also willing to provide him with some protection. It seemed to be a fairly good partnership. “Okay, I promise you.”

For the first time, the girl’s face revealed a shallow smile. Her wheelchair slowly passed by Dong Zheng. “My number is S000000. Here, I am called Prisoner Zero, but you can call me by my previous name, Murphy.”
  
The meaning of this number was self-evident. The seemingly weak and harmless girl in front of him was probably the most dangerous existence in the entire prison. She must have been put in this box specifically because of some serious matter. But since Murphy wanted him to help her leave the box, she shouldn’t try to harm him.

“Why choose me?”

“Others can’t bear me,” Murphy said. “You should also have realized it. I don’t exist in physical form. This girl’s body is just temporarily carrying me. In order for me to leave this box, I need to be attached to someone else’s spiritual space. For those who are mentally weak, my existence alone would directly squeeze out their original consciousness, turning them into a walking dead. Just like my current body, which the box rejected as a pilgrim.”

“So you need a person with a strong mental ability.”
  
Murphy said, “Brain developers make up a small percentage of pilgrims, let alone strengthen their spirits at the same time. Even if I haven’t seen very many people with such a huge spiritual space like yours. In this box, you are the only one to this day.”

Dong Zheng remembered one of the Queen’s heirs that Cui Zuojing had mentioned to him. It was a book called Worm of Mystery, which seemed to be as powerful as Murphy. His mental power allowed him to control other people and even attached his consciousness to them in order to control their bodies.

He didn’t say a word, but after this thought flashed through his mind, Murphy immediately saw it.

In front of her, all his secret thoughts had nowhere to hide.
  
The Worm of Mystery?” The girl smiled. Her eyes narrowed slightly, and she whispered softly, “That’s just a despicable and shameless thief.”

 


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crimson
crimson
3 years ago

Thank you for the chapter~

Murphy seems both dangerous and intriguing O.O I really hope she’ll become an ally~ Since she can see Dong Zheng’s thoughts, I wonder how she’ll react if he starts fantasizing about Cui Zuojing XD With her on their side, the Queen’s minions won’t be as fearsome~

Nabong_uwu
Nabong_uwu
3 years ago
Reply to  crimson

I also hope she is an ally >.<

yel
yel
2 years ago

she doesn’t seem like on the Queen’s side, hopefully. i hope she’ll be an ally. she doesn’t have to outright help them, just provide a secret helping hand will do, just like the clown

Arabidopsis
Arabidopsis
1 year ago

Why did I think the brown bear that talking with the clown in the last chapter being controlled by The Book of Worm…🧐
-Sorry for my bad grammar 😬

thatonecat
thatonecat
1 year ago

Ruh roh shaggy