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Chapter 315: Surplus Humans (2)
Oh. Its Finally awake, huh, Vikir said, stretching.
A huge flower bloomed atop the clock tower. It spread its petals wide like a smile, chewing on humans as if they were food.
Crunch, slurp, chomp
Blood and flesh mixed in the viscous fluid, flowing steadily. As the blood seeped through, the nearby vines, previously shriveled like dried-up raisins, seemed slightly less wrinkled.
All the students recoiled in fear at the horrifying sight.
The fairy chuckled and spoke, [This plant only devour one person a day. Even a single victim a day is enough. It feast on both the living and the dead.]
S-Rank threat. Bloodsoaked Jade Flower
Despite its immaturity, it exuded a powerful aura that required it to consume one human per day, unlike the Hellhounds encountered in previous stages it was a far more dangerous creature.
Instinctively aware of the danger, the students stared at the carnivorous flower atop the clock tower with pale faces.
Unbelievable! Were supposed to endure 69 days in a place infested with such monsters?
No, no. Its 68 days now!
Damn it! Its the same!
Calm down! Its not about the reduced time but why its reduced!
Maybe we can find a way to reduce it further here!
With the recent death, the number of days they had to endure decreased. But even 68 days were by no means a short time.
With limited food and water, and the situation where one had to become the prey of this monster every day, it was a dire circumstance.
Everyone looked around anxiously, consumed by fear and anxiety.
Meanwhile, the Flower extended its long tongue, picking out bits of flesh stuck between its teeth before slipping back into slumber.
[Did you see that? If you dont provoke it, it wont bother you.]
However, the fairys subsequent words stiffened the expressions of the relieved students, as the Flowers respite only lasted momentarily.
[Well, itll wake up soon anyway.]
The nightmare had only just begun.
Now, the students had to endure cold, hunger, and battles with the Bloodsoaked Jade Flower for 68 days.
Some students attempted to attack the Flowers stem, but it was impossible to harm an S-Rank monster with mere physical force.
Moreover, they were significantly weaker compared to their strength outside the tower.
Ugh, I feel so weak!
Aaah! I dont want to be in the same space as that monster! I dont!
But the ruins are too cold. If were not close to that monster, well freeze
Ugh! Id rather freeze to death in a concrete sewer!
Do you really think that plant wont find you? Didnt you see how its roots and vines spread out?
Ah, what are we supposed to do? Hungry, thirsty How can we endure 68 days here?
The students despaired, utterly confused and terrified, not knowing what to do.
Then, as if offering solace, the fairy spoke, [Dont lose hope. Shall I give you a special gift?]
Simultaneously, peculiar items materialized in front of all the surviving students.
Amidst the noisy firecrackers, each student found a box dropping into their laps.
It was a black cuboid about the size of a human head, with a red symbol ? near the lid.
[I was afraid you wouldnt light the fire without any matches, so I gave you a special gift. Whats inside? Its random, you know?]The original appearance of this chapter can be found at N0v3l.B1n.
According to the fairy, inside these boxes were items, tools known as artifacts outside the tower. What was inside was random; if lucky, theyd get strong and useful items, but if unlucky, theyd get trash.
Alright! Im pretty good at this kind of gacha. Ill show you my luck! exclaimed one student, eager to open the box.
The box was designed for one to reach inside and retrieve the contents, as flipping or breaking it wouldnt reveal what was inside.
Lets see. Whats in there? The student reached inside the box.
Then, suddenly crunch!
An unpleasant sound of flesh tearing echoed.
Huh? As the student withdrew his arm from the box, it was evident that their wrist was missing.
Aaaah! The student screamed as blood gushed from their severed arm, collapsing to the ground, causing the black box to vanish naturally.
[Sometimes, it might be a mimic~ Like this? Be careful?] The fairys words turned the hopeful expressions of the students who had looked forward to the random boxes back into despair.
Now, the students were divided into two groups: those who opened the random boxes that fell before them, and those who didnt.
Most refrained from opening the boxes, having witnessed the wrist-severing incident moments ago. Yet, despite that, there were quite a few who still dared to open them.
If we dont open them, what will we do? We cant just sit here and starve to death.
We should try to get something before we die of hunger.
Damn it. Im ready to sacrifice a wrist for this!
Come on, weapon! Please! Something to defend myself with.
Eventually, the results of opening the random boxes were revealed amidst the noisy firecrackers.
The most common item, as expected, was Strange Candy.
Red, blue, green candies fell in that order, followed by some students receiving elegant fans or menacing swords, others receiving small harmonicas or unwieldy maces, some getting salt and pepper, while others received jerky and water, farming tools, and more.
The items falling out of the random boxes were truly diverse.
Apart from the group opening the random boxes, some clever students began analyzing the current situation.
Initially, we were supposed to endure for 69 days here, but it reduced to 68?
Did 24 hours pass since that happened?
It seems like the time we have to endure here depends on us.
Is there any relation between the number of survivors when we first arrived here being 69?
Do you think as the number of people decreases, out time here decreases as well?
Those demons could easily plan something like that if they wanted.
The initial number of survivors who arrived here was 69. The number of days to endure here was also 69. But after one student was eaten by the Flower, the number of survivors decreased to 68.
Simultaneously, the number of days to endure here also decreased to 68.
In the end, the students came up with a chilling deduction:
The number of days to endure here was equal to the number of survivors.
What if, as the number of survivors decreases, the number of days to endure decreases as well?
Over time, therell be those who cant bear the cold and hunger and die. Perhaps even before that, conflicts over food and grudges may lead to violence and more deaths.
Not too bad, I guess. The fewer days we have to endure, the better.
Still, when we scoured the ruins, there wasnt exactly a shortage of food. The problem is most of its gone bad or rotten.
Well, we could always start by eating that chubby guy over there. Heh heh heh
What? Why joke like that? Not funny!
.Was that supposed to be a joke?
People can typically survive without eating anything for 3 to 7 days. If they can drink a little water, they might last up to 20 days. So enduring for 68 days in this cold, desolate wasteland without food was unrealistic from the start. Moreover, if the Flower wakes up again tomorrow at this time, thats also a problem.
If it just goes back to sleep after eating one person, why dont we all just run away and let the slow ones get eaten?
That seems fairest. In other words, its survival of the fittest.
Yeah, right. If youre slow, you die.
Couldnt we just team up against that Flower? Is it really that strong?
As the students exchanged opinions, the fairy interjected as if it had forgotten something.
[Oh, right? The flower gets annoyed when you meet a lot? It might eat all 68 people at once? It might be best to not move much?]
It ended its tone in a high note as always, It seemes as if it was asking a question rather than telling something.
Finishing its statement, the fairy pointed to a window inside a nearby building.
All eyes turned to where piles of thick bones were stacked, remnants of Hellhounds.
The surrounding area was littered with the shattered corpses of the massive beasts.
The fairy chuckled and projected a hologram through one of the windows, depicting a scene from the previous stage where Hellhounds fought against the Bloodsoaked Jade Flower.
Nearly a hundred Hellhounds, each baring their teeth and claws, rushed toward the Flower.
And the outcome was gruesome.
In a matter of seconds, the hundred Hellhounds couldnt even last against the Flower for 10 seconds.
Within 3 seconds, half of them, about 50, were whipped by the Flowers vine, tearing their torsos and limbs apart.
The next 4 seconds, almost 40 were impaled by the roots, becoming bloodied messes on the ground.
The last 3 seconds until the count reached 0, the surviving 5 Hellhounds melted into a handful of Bloodwater as they were struck by the Flowers deadly breath.
Afterward, the Flower feasted on some of the Hellhound corpses before getting bored and moving elsewhere.
A silence fell among the students. Even the Hellhounds that tormented them in the previous stage looked pathetic in comparison.
If the Flower becomes more vicious as people move,
It could be the worst-case scenario, killing all 68 people at once. Ultimately, sacrificing one person per day would be the better option.
The chilling silence pervaded the ruins. The remaining 68 students began to engage in a silent struggle of wits.
Cold and hunger. And the danger of being chosen as a sacrifice to the monster.
That carnivorous flower. Itll eat even if we throw corpses at it, right?
It probably will. It eats everything, alive or dead, as that ugly fairy said earlier
So, its not like well all just be eaten one by one every day.
Yeah, if were all going to die anyway, might as well just die, right?
Yeah, that makes sense. If it eats corpses too, itll be easier, wont it?
I think the same. Maybe even easier than the previous stage.
Even some who sent dangerous glances toward other students.
The atmosphere in the ruins was becoming increasingly unbearable.
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