“So, did you ask all the things you ought to ask when recruiting a new team member?”
Dong Linhai nodded and said, “At that time, I thought that it would take more than 20 minutes for them to finish the race anyway. Even if they came back, I might not be able to find them. So, I just made my own decision and asked some questions similar to when we recruited Brother Hangzhi.”
Wang Que sat at the table with her hands folded on her lap. She was obviously nervous, even though she’d met everyone before in the box; the only one she hadn’t met was Fu Zhe. But, as Lin hangzhi had said at the time, everyone in the castle, even the cat, were all male. It was natural for her to feel uneasy.
“Do you actively want to join our team?” Dong Zheng asked. He was a little worried that Dong Linhai had met Wang Que on the road and had taken the initiative to drag the little girl over.
Dong Linhai was dissatisfied. “Hey, brother, what do you mean?”
“Mmn. My previous teammate failed to get out of the Doll’s House, so now I’m alone. The risk factor for entering the box by myself is too high. I’ve been thinking about looking for another team and just happened to run into Linhai on the streets, so I asked him if the team needed another person.”
Dong Zheng couldn’t find any faults with the girl’s performance in Doll’s House. At that time, he’d thought that if he had a chance in the future, he would ask her if she was willing to join the team. Now that this happened, it could be considered as fate.
“Since Linhai has already decided to bring you in, it means that he recognized your strength and condition. But, in order for all of us to become familiar with you, let’s talk about it again, just so our logistic person is informed.”
Wang Que nodded and said, “My name is Wang Que. I was 17 years old in the real world and was a senior high school student studying fine arts. I’ve been in the Pure White Realm for half a year now and had experienced seven boxes. I awakened my ability three months ago.”
She paused, then whispered softly, “My ability is called [Fungus Bell], which is simply…controlling insects.”
Sure enough. This ability was what Dong Zheng had originally guessed. He and Cui Zuojing looked at each other and he asked, “Can you show us?”
When Wang Que heard their request, her face became awkward, but in the end, she nodded and agreed, “Okay.”
She took a deep breath, as if trying to sense something. Meanwhile, everyone waited patiently.
Not long after, a black cockroach came out of nowhere, crawled along the legs of the table onto the table, and calmly passed in front of Lin Hangzhi, fluttering its wings.
Allen exclaimed, “Wow!”
Fu Zhe: ? ? ?
Fu Zhe: ! ! !
With all his calm and composed leisurely grace gone, Fu Zhe abruptly stood up and exclaimed in disbelief, “Why are there cockroaches in the castle?!”
“They probably came in from outside when we entered and exited.” Cui Zuojing put his hands on Fu Zhe’s shoulders and pushed him back down on his seat. “Don’t be alarmed, don’t be alarmed. With Wang Que here, she could help you find them and you won’t have to bother with trying to kill all of them.”
Dong Zheng said, “So you were able to use your ability to perceive the earthworms and the caterpillars in the Doll’s House?”
Wang Que nodded. “In fact, it isn’t limited to just insects. The principle of Fungus Ringing Bell is that it creates a kind of connection. I can control any lower animal without a higher intelligence, so long as their central nervous system is simple enough, and it is within my abilities.”
Wang Que kept staring at the cockroach on the table, until Fu Zhe couldn’t bear it anymore and told Dong Linhai to kill it. As soon as it was done, the little girl became secretly relieved. Cui Zuojing saw everything and understood a little bit of her reaction.
Sure enough, this kind of ability was still a test for girls.
It didn’t take long for Dong Zheng to make a decision. “In fact, we were planning to recruit new team members. It happens that everyone had already experienced a box together, so our break-in period would be shorter. Anyway, you’re welcome to join us.”
Wang Que hurriedly got up and bowed to everyone. Finally, she could breathe a sigh of relief, and said with sincerity, “Thank you.”
Cui Zuojing said, “Don’t be so polite. Starting today, everyone will be teammates. Since everyone is bigger than you, just call everyone older brother. We’re currently undergoing special training. You can join in.”
Wang Que looked around. Cui Zuojing knew what she was looking for, and smiled, “Uncle is still sleeping. Let’s go. I’ll show you the castle and you can choose your own room.”
Cui Zuojing took Wang Que upstairs. Fu Zhe was still immersed in the incredible knowledge that there were cockroaches in the castle. Frowning, he said, “Others are preparing for the next training program. Linhai, go eat breakfast.”
“Okay.” Dong Linhai got up and entered the kitchen.
Perhaps it was partly because Cui Zuojing looked like a 16-year-old boy, which made her feel less uneasy, but Wang Que relaxed quite a lot. She finally chose a bedroom at the end of the hallway on the second floor. There wouldn’t be many people passing by the door every day, which was just right for the only girl in the castle.
“You need to buy bedding or something by yourself, and then ask Fu Zhe for a key. Once you have the key, you can come back no matter where you are, unless you’re in a box.”
Wang Que nodded and thanked Cui Zuojing. Cui Zuojing glanced at the time and said, “I’m going to train them. If you have time, come over and take a look. If you want to survive in the box, physical fitness is very important.”
Cui Zuojing made everyone practice shooting in an orderly manner, as per usual. At this point in the training, everyone knew what to do, so he didn’t need to worry too much. After a while, Wang Que followed their voices and stood at the door, watching.
Cui Zuojing waved to her and scooted over so the girl could sit beside him.
“Have you used the two ability points you obtained in the Doll’s House?”
“I added them to endurance and agility,” Wang Que whispered. “But it doesn’t seem to be very useful.”
“The difference between one point won’t be very big. Wait until you’ve added five or six points to a certain aspect. Then, you would be able to feel the progress.” Seeing Dong Linhai looking quietly in their direction, Cui Zuojing glared at him to warn him to concentrate, and continued to say to Wang Que, “I’ll send you some data later. Since girls have weaker physical constitutions, your physical training can be slightly relaxed, but other aspects must be treated the same. Today, you will look at scp first, and see how much you can grasp. They’d read almost 1,000 articles already. You need to keep up with the progress.”
Wang Que let out a sound of agreement. In the box, monsters would not sympathize with her just because she was a girl. On the contrary, her natural physical weakness would put her at a disadvantage. To survive, she would need to work harder than others.
After shooting practice ended, Cui Zuojing took advantage of the other people’s fatigue to teach Wang Que.
“Okay, let’s stop for now. Anyway, at this stage, there won’t be a lot of boxes that will provide you with firearms and weapons. Just wait until you’ve added more points to your strength.”
“Too skinny,” Allen commented. “Do little girls of your age like to lose weight? Look at those thin arms; you need to eat more.”
Lin Hangzhi looked at it from a doctor’s perspective, and asked with an estimate, “You’re just over ninety catty, right? Allen is about twice your size.”
Allen said, “But I am 1.94 meters! Also, I’m strong! Not fat!”
Dong Linhai didn’t say anything abnormal, trying to maintain his image as a quiet and beautiful boy.
Wang Que held a gun that was heavier than she thought and was a little helpless. Dong Zheng comforted her, “It’s okay. This is the first day after joining the team. Why don’t you get acquainted with this place first? You don’t have to be anxious about training.”
What Dong Zheng said was opposite to Cui Zuojing’s words. The youth smiled and lightly kicked his calf. “You’re tearing down my stage.”
“I’m not.” Dong Zheng laughed and calmly changed the topic. “Since we have enough people now, we can go to the app and apply for a team status. Now, you all need to think about what you want us to be called.”
The Pure White Realm had a team function, but the team could only be officially formed once the number of members reached five or more people. Once the team was formed, the team information would be registered on the official website. Previously, Dong Zheng and the team only had four people. Although they could share points and props, there were still many limitations.
The group left the room that was set up for shooting practice and went to the living room. They began to discuss the team’s name.
Dong Linhai took the lead to speak, “Red Right Hand! Abyss Feeder! Nine-tailed Fox! Skynet! These names are all very nice.”
Dong Zheng reminded him helplessly, “Linhai, we did learn a lot about scp, but in the end, we’re not the Foundation’s mobile task force. Also, have you ever thought that these things are copyrighted, even though we’re in the Pure White Realm and no one can hold us accountable.”
“But they all sounded so cool…” Dong Linhai didn’t give up.
Allen chimed in, “Chaos Insurgency (1)! I’ve liked this name for a long time!”
“I already said not to use any scp name. It’s a copyright infringement!”
The atmosphere calmed down, and the group of nameless people looked at each other.
Fu Zhe sighed and picked up his book again, not participating in this activity.
They rejected such names as Five Dharma Goddess, B221, the Chinese Dream Team, This username can’t be displayed because it is too handsome, The Crimson Blade in the Moonlight, and Wingardium Leviosa. Dong Zheng couldn’t help but said, “Gentlemen, if you can think of a normal name, we won’t need to discuss it for half an hour.”
Lin Hangzhi said, “It’s so difficult. Why not just pick one?”
Cui Zuojing was entirely too amused by this show. Seeing the Wang Que hadn’t spoken, he asked, “Do you have any suggestions?”
Wang Que shook her head. “I know a lot of great painter’s names, like Shui Tianbi, Bai Caoshuang, and so on. But, they’re not suitable for the team.”
Allen snatched Dong Zheng’s phone and quickly typed a line into the team name input. Then, he gave the phone back to Dong Zheng. “It’s done. Let’s just go with this one. Isn’t it just a team name? It’s all in vain anyway. Let’s not care so much and just pick one.”
Dong Zheng looked at it and almost sprayed out blood. Inputted into the interface were two words: Wonton Insurgency. (2)
“How obsessed are you with those insurgents you read about?”
“But their name is so cool.” Allen put an arm around Dong Zheng’s shoulders and asked, “Do you think it’s okay? Just look at this name. There is a trace of casualness in it’s handsomeness. In this casualness, there is a trace of marvelousness. And, in this marvelousness, there is a grain of sharpness. It’s very good.”
“…..Fine.” To be honest, Dong Zheng also didn’t have a good name to suggest. He handed the phone over for everyone to take a look and unexpectedly got all of their approvals, except for Wang Que.
Dong Zheng: ……….
He’d forgotten that, aside from himself and Wang Que, everyone else in the team didn’t seem to take a lot of things seriously.
And that decided it. Dong Zheng took a deep breath and pressed the OK button.
Regardless, the team’s name could be changed in the future. Once they came up with a better name, they could simply change it.
[Congratulations! The team “Wonton Insurgency” has been formed. Captain: Dong Zheng. Team Members: Dong Linhai, Allen, Lin Hangzhi, Wang Que.]
After a short load time, the screen showed that the team was successfully formed. On the basic interface with the team information, a small dialog box popped up to remind them that their team also had the option to join different organizations.
Dong Linhai said, “In that case, brother, wouldn’t you be the wonton filling and we’re the wonton wrappers?”
Dong Zheng said, “…..Don’t talk nonsense.”
“Regarding the organizations, you can take a look first, but don’t be in a hurry to join. After all, you’ve only been to District XII. It’s not good to enter an organization too early.”
Cui Zuojing clapped his hands. “Okay, after listening to you arguing for a headache-inducing half hour, it’s safe to assume that you’ve had enough rest. So, get up for combat training. You’ll fight in groups of two. Those who lose will take the initiative to enter the small, black room. Wang Que, come over here. I’ll teach you some self-defense skills.”
(1) Chaos Insurgency – A covert task force originally codenamed “Insurgency,” formed in 1942 by the SCP Foundation and led by members of the Red Right Hands. To the outside world, they appeared to have broken away from the organization and engaged in ethically questionable methods. In reality, they still secretly answered to the council. However, in 1948, they defected from the foundation in reality and took on the name “Chaos Insurgency.” They supposedly wanted to used the scp anomalies to create a utopia with humans as the master of everything. Info summarized from the SCP website. If you want to read more, here’s the link to Chaos Insurgency.
(2) Wonton Insurgency – 馄饨 (hun tun = wonton/dumpling) is the homophone of 混沌 (hun dun = primal chaos). Basically, Allen is doing a play on words on the name Chaos Insurgency. When I was reading the book via mtl, Google Translate would call them the “Wonton Splitter Squad.” Needless to say, every time their group name came up, I would be thoroughly amused.
Quick note: To those who are wondering, they won’t enter another box until around chapter 84 or so. This arc is more focused on training and team/character/minor plot development.