“Data reading is finished…”
“Ding dong! June 19th, 2019, welcome back to Earth.”
The dazzling sunlight pierced Tang Mo’s eyes. He couldn’t help reaching out a hand to stop the light, his eyes squinting. Suddenly, he heard a familiar and strange sound. It was a gentle but heavy birdsong. It cooed like a dove. Tang Mo’s extremely evolved hearing allowed him to clearly hear the sound of wings fluttering despite not being able to see.
The bird shot into the air, like it was scared by something.
He couldn’t wait to open his eyes and finally saw the bird.
It was a spotted dove.
It was one of the most common birds in China and it looked at the humans who suddenly appeared under the black tower with fright, flapping its wings to escape.
At this moment, more than three million people around the world stopped and stared at the black tower.
They were stunned, fascinated and finally pleasantly surprised.
Ruan Wangshu shivered as he squatted and looked at the ants on the ground moving food. Chen Shanshan looked at the sparrows in a tree not far away and couldn’t speak.
Apart from Fu Wenduo and Mu Huixue, John Brooks and Bell Fauske returned to the United States. Yamamoto Takao returned to the black tower in Shinsaibashi, Osaka and ran to look at the fish swimming in the water.
Luo Fengcheng was stiff and both Jack and Zhao Ziang stared at the black tower with surprise. After a long time, Luo Fengcheng recovered. He stepped to the stone monument at the start of Nanjing Road. There were gold characters on the stone tablet that said ‘Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street’. He touched the intact stone monument.
“We are back…”
Jack asked, “Doctor, we came back?”
The little fatty Zhao Ziang touched his head. “Came back? Came back from where?”
Luo Fengcheng smiled and didn’t answer.
Meanwhile, Beijing’s Forbidden City black tower.
As soon as they saw the spotted dove flying in the sky, Tang Mo and Fu Wenduo understood what it meant to ‘return to Earth.’
Around the world, some players already understood what was going on while others were in a daze. However, the black tower didn’t give humans time to feel excitement. Fu Wenduo responded very quickly. The spotted dove had just flown into the sky when he picked up a small stone and hit the bird.
The spotted dove fell to the ground, its wings flapping.
Mu Huixue used the whip to gently tie up the bird, not hurting it. Then the child’s voice was heard again, interrupting everyone’s thoughts.
“Ding dong! Successfully opened the black tower’s seventh floor game.”
“Game name: Black Tower Happy Treasure Hunting game.”
“Game participants: All players.”
The voice stopped. The players didn’t have time to recover from their emotions as they watched the black tower. They heard it continue in a calm voice,
“The black tower is the favourite game partner of humanity and accompanied Earth’s players in countless wonderful and interesting games. However, the happy times are always short. It is time to say goodbye.”
Every word was emotional but it was the black tower speaking.
It spoke emotional words in the coldest tone, the extreme contrast making its words ironic.
“Ding dong! Thank you to China District 1 players Fu Wenduo, Tang Mo, Mu Huixue… China District 7 player Li Xia, East Asia District 2 player Yamamoto Takao, the United States District 2 players John Brooks and Bell Fauske.” The black tower once again repeated the names of the nine players who cleared the sixth floor. Then it turned and spoke in an indifferent tone. “The black tower’s seventh floor attack game has started.”
“The rules of the game—”
“First, apart from those over the ocean, there are a total of 15,209 black towers on Earth. From 2:27 a.m on June 19th to 2:26 a.m. on June 27th, Earth’s black towers will be reduced at the rate of 2,172 per day for seven days. The area around the black tower will be erased, including all players in the area.
“Second, the erased black towers are completely random. In addition, the five black towers that are part of the game contents will be erased after the game is over.”
“Third, each black tower will have a tower guard. The tower guard will be an underground person or a monster.”
“Fourth, among the 15,209 black towers, there are five special black towers which contain a special treasure. Find the five black towers, defeat the tower guard and get the treasure. Once all five treasures are found, the black tower’s seventh floor will be cleared.”
“Fifth, from now all, all black tower games will stop. Players in the game will be immediately forced out.”
“Sixth, all humans can attack the tower. It isn’t limited to the nine players who cleared the sixth floor.”
“Announcing the three iron-clad rules of the black tower—”
“First, everything is explained by the black tower.”
“Second, 6 o’clock to 18 o’clock is the game time.”
“All players, please attack the tower!”
It paused for a moment. Everyone thought it finished when the black tower’s mechanical voice said,
“The last black tower game, I wish you a happy game!”
The seventh floor’s tower attack game, the return to Earth and a global tower attack game.
The black tower gave out a lot of confusing information at one time and Tang Mo and Fu Wenduo couldn’t respond. After a moment, Fu Wenduo listened to the movements around him and felt the vibrations in the ground. He felt the shaking and said, “There are many people heading to the black tower.”
Tang Mo told him, “The black tower suddenly announced this and we all returned to the real Earth. Players probably want to see the black tower and search for information nearby.”
Andrei sighed, “Elbow?” (Mispronounced the word ‘run.’)
The five people immediately left the black tower to avoid being surrounded. Halfway through Lian Yuzheng found Ruan Wangshu’s group who came from Beijing Railway Station. Everyone met up and Ruan Wangshu said, “Go to the 80th School.”
Along the way, Tang Mo saw hundreds of players flocking to the black tower but also players looking at the various animals on the roadside. Whether it was a bird, fish, reptile or ants, any non-human creature made them feel tears. It felt like they had returned home and gained the motivation to live.
Tang Mo’s heart twitched as he turned his head and entered the Tian Xuan base.
Ruan Wangshu didn’t speak any nonsense and directly opened with, “This is Earth.”
Tang Mo’s fingers clenched as he said, “Yes, this is the real Earth.”
After seeing the animals and the restored cities, everyone realized that this was the real Earth they had lived in.
On November 18th, 2017, the earth went online. All animals in the world disappeared, leaving only the players who entered the game.
People at the time felt confused. Where did the animals go? However, they didn’t have time to think about it. They wanted to live and had to face one black tower game after another. The dangerous black tower games made them exhausted. They accepted the reality that they were pulled into an endless game.
It wasn’t until now that everyone understood…
Tang Mo opened his mouth. “The Earth where returnees lived wasn’t the real Earth. In fact, the Earth we were on before also wasn’t Earth.”
Tang Mo felt that he had forgotten something but he couldn’t remember what it was.
At this time, Chen Shanshan said, “I have been ignoring something. It wasn’t until the black tower announced that humans returned to Earth that I remembered.” Her voice stopped and the little girl glanced at Tang Mo and Fu Wenduo. “Brother Tang, Major Fu, eight months ago, the black tower announced that the earth was online and forced the returnees into another world. Do you remember what it said?”
Eight months ago, the earth went online?
Fu Wenduo recalled, “I remember it was November 18th, the end of the three day game time. It was 8 a.m. Beijing time which is 0:00 Greenwich time. The black tower announced that more than 400 million players successfully loaded into the game.”
Chen Shanshan shook her head. “No, it said something before that.”
Fu Wenduo asked, “What?”
The little girl’s voice was quiet. “Saving the game.”
The group was surprised. The advanced players thought about it again and finally remembered the words.
“Ding dong! 498.16 million players successfully loaded the game…”
“The game data is loading…”
“Players information is loading…”
“Save is successful…”
“Ding dong! November 18th, 2017. I welcome all players into the game.”
Tang Mo was shocked. “The game is saving and the save is successful…” He looked up. “From the beginning, the black tower saved all the information about Earth. It was only waiting for someone to clear the sixth floor. Then it would read the archive and have all humans attack the seventh floor?”
“…Earth itself is the black tower’s seventh floor?”
Everyone was silent.
A few minutes later, Ruan Wangshu grabbed an electronic watch from a member of Tian Xuan and handed it to everyone. “Maybe it is.”
The group looked at the watch.
Sure enough, the date on this electronic watch was exactly November 18th, 2017.
Mu Huixue said, “No wonder. This explains why all the animals in the world disappeared, leaving only humans. It is because the black tower only needs humans to enter the game, not animals. It also explains why Earth’s ecosystem didn’t collapse after the animals disappeared. We survived for eight months in that place because the black tower created the environment and all ecosystems were under its control… I didn’t think it could even recreate Earth.”
The group was focused on the black tower when Fu Wensheng said, “However, the black tower said that this is the last game.”
Fu Wenduo continued, “It also said that from today on, more than 2,000 black towers will be erased every day. As long as the black tower disappears, all humans and human traces in the same area will be wiped out. A total of 15,209 black towers and this is decreased by 2,000 a day.In other words, if the five special black towers aren’t raided in seven days, all traces of humanity on Earth will disappear.”
Ruan Wangshu frowned. “What about the animals? Will it erase only humans and not other creatures?”
Tang Mo guessed, “…From the beginning, it is only testing humans?”
The group summarized their intelligence. This time, no one hid any information. Tang Mo told everyone what happened on the sixth floor and Ruan Wangshu understood why so many players died in the main mission.
It wasn’t the black tower monsters killing players, it was the players themselves.
Only human beings could kill other human beings.
After listening to Chen Shanshan, he concluded, “Then now we are in the black tower’s seventh floor. This is a treasure hunt game. There are more than 15,000 black towers around the world and we have to find five. Fortunately, all players in the world are participating. This isn’t a solo game but a cooperative one.”
Mu Huixue continued the thought, “Just finding it isn’t useful. Every black tower should have someone raid it. The black towers hidden in inaccessible places shouldn’t contain the tower. For example, the black towers in the mountains, deserts and deep in the forest can’t be raided by humans. The real problem is after finding the black tower, you have to attack the black tower.”
There was no doubt that based on the black tower’s normal actions, the black tower would never place the treasure in a place that can’t be found or accessed by humans. The five black towers must be able to be touched by humans and was likely in an area with an extremely large number of players.
However, finding it wasn’t useful. After finding it, they had to attack the black tower and defeat the guard.
Tang Mo said, “Thus, senior players must try to attack the black towers as much as possible and find the real treasure black towers.” He suddenly said, “I have a clue about this. As you know, we cleared the grab the sixth mode and Fu Wenduo and I gained a clue about the seventh floor.”
Tang Mo and Fu Wenduo glanced at each other before Fu Wenduo said, “The original tower of all things, the tower of parallel intersection. This is the clue that the black tower gave to me and Tang Mo.”
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