“Damn, sh*t! What a rotten luck!”
I’m lost. Where should I go…….
Muttering curses incessantly, Elysia wandered around aimlessly until she stumbled upon an open space, her expression filled with despair.
Without thinking, she had ended up in the central part of the school building, where a large greenhouse, almost like a botanical garden, stood.
The glass ceiling, supported by massive white marble pillars, bathed the area in intense sunlight.
Elysia paid no attention to the lush palm leaves and cacti as she walked straight ahead. The closer she got to the center of the greenhouse, the cooler the temperature became, causing her eyebrows to raise in surprise.
Who designed this so poorly?
Her question was soon answered. She noticed a circular opening in the center, indicating that it had been left open for ventilation during the warm spring season.
“…And what is that?”
Elysia, who had spotted a group of male students, instinctively hid herself behind a cluster of hydrangeas. Upon reflection, she wondered why she felt the need to hide when she hadn’t done anything wrong. It was all because of that damn crime game and the habits it had ingrained in her.
Frustrated, Elysia ran her fingers through her disheveled hair, intending to walk away to another place. But a student whispered discreetly to her.
“So, did you bring it?”
‘Bring what?’ Elysia’s toe, which was about to make a rustling sound, quickly lifted off the ground as she raised her head in surprise. Her former detective instinct was screaming at her that something was off.
In the past, she would have confronted the situation head-on. But in a world where acting out of character was deemed abnormal, did she really need to act the same way?
As she pondered, Elysia decided to trust the genre of the game more than her reliable animal-like instincts and attempted to move her foot again.
“Well, it was tough to obtain. Alma raised the price, and I almost couldn’t afford it. So, is it ‘Craya’? Or ‘Boluet’? Each bag costs 6,088 gold.”
……If it weren’t for those names.
Elysia stood frozen in place upon hearing names that were all too familiar to her.
It was a well-ventilated space filled with the scent of flowers, a perfect environment to mask any specific odors. A group of men gathered as if they were about to do something together, and most notably, there they were—Craya and Boluet.
Clank, clunk, ding.
The scattered puzzle pieces in her mind fell into place, fitting together perfectly. A fiery heat ignited within her head. Were these guys really insane…?!
Elysia tapped the dirt off her shoe sole against the grating next to the hydrangea bushes, clearing away the grass stuck to it, and walked out.
Startled, she saw the crumpled papers, pipes, and white powder in the hands of the stumbling male students. The collapsed system window that had resurfaced with suspicious thoughts marked the final blow.
system: Congratulations. You have witnessed a crime scene! Experience points of 200 will be awarded for apprehending the drug buyer, and 700 experience points for apprehending the drug dealer!
In the midst of an dating simulation, Elysia found herself face-to-face with a group of drug peddlers, and she fell silent for a moment.
What is this? What…what the hell is this? Elysia exclaimed, rolling her eyes in disbelief, momentarily at a loss for words.
“This…this, these crazy bastards!!!”
“What is that?”
“You, you, you. Ah, a total of five? Even if you’re all buyers, that’s 1,000 experience points… Nicely done.”
The male students, frozen under the intense gaze of the fierce woman, had their pipes taken away with an expression of bewilderment.
Elysia stomped on the crumpled papers and laughed mockingly, sharply pinching her opponent’s ear.
While the men were by no means frail, they were mere puppies compared to the opponents she had trampled over in the past few years. So instead of fear, annoyance surged within her.
“Ah, is a guy so young that he can use the blood on his head instead of ink for writing!”
With a swift smack of her palm against the back of the head, a scream erupted. Unable to contain her contempt, she gave another sharp strike to the back of the head.
“Hey! Where did you get this? I’m asking who sold it!”
“Ah, ahh! It hurts! It hurts!”
Craya and Boluet, I know. I know them too well, it’s a problem!
She touched her throbbing forehead. Craya and Boluet, they were among the various drugs circulating in ⟨Panic in the City.⟩ She had even annihilated an organization by tracing the distribution route of those substances.
Why did she do it? Well, she was bored to death, and would a hardcore gamer just ignore a quest? Thanks to that, she had knowledge about not only the names but also the effects, manufacturing process, and even the approximate market price.
How on earth did drugs that existed in other games end up in this world, circulating with the same names?
There wouldn’t be smugglers operating beyond the scope of the game. It was more plausible that she got trapped in the game itself, as the ⟨Panic in the City⟩ project was indefinitely postponed and the elements used in that project were incorporated into this game by DECP CORP.
Anyway, I can’t just let these drug addicts go in front of me. Elysia grabbed the boy by the scruff of his neck, growling as she asked.
“Where did you get it?!”
1 against 5. A woman against men.
Both in terms of numbers and strength, they had the advantage, but realizing they were exposed, panic seemed to have paralyzed them, unable to stop her. Furthermore, her sharp and fierce appearance only made her more intimidating.
And when humans are overwhelmed by fear, they lose their rationality and make foolish choices. Sadly, they were humans too.
The boys, who had their necks gripped and shaken by the woman, forcefully pushed her shoulders and quickly rushed towards the exit. Staggering and stumbling, they fell onto the mosaic-tiled floor. In that moment, she realized something and murmured with a disappointed expression.
At that moment, a blood-red system window appeared before her.
system: HP -1,000
system: Remaining HP 0! Entering ‘unconscious’ state!
Beep, beep, beep. Like lights fading away, the vision dimmed and everything became hazy.
As Elysia coughed as she watched the experience shuttles, or rather, the drug offenders, disappearing into the distance. Blinking her eyes once, the taste faded away, and she confirmed her field of vision, then groaned.
F*cking druggies, f*cking system, and the most f*cked up thing of all… is probably the fact that I’m defenseless…
“Ah… Please let me level up…”
With those final words, she lost consciousness.
system: ‘Stunned’ state will be lifted in 1 minute.
system: ‘Stunned’ state will be lifted in 30 seconds.
system: HP has recovered by 13. Awakening from ‘Stunned’ state.
As soon as her eyes opened, Elysia reached into the first-aid kit that Adrian had handed her earlier and took out a band-aid, which she had prepared in advance. Despite haphazardly applying it to her cheek, the effect seemed to be effective.
system: Treatment complete! Health returns to full state.
It was regrettable that she had to apply a band-aid to the fake bruises, which she would normally not even bother with. Elysia looked up at the sky beyond the shattered glass and murmured.
“…How long do I have to live like this?”
She was certain. She had to level up. She couldn’t continue living like this.
For some reason, despite moving to a different game, Elysia herself was still bound by the system of ⟨Panic in the City.⟩ In that case, she would have to level up just as she did in that game.
She quickly got up from her seat and walked towards the wreckage left behind by the drug offenders, who were also her experience shuttles.
In order for me to survive, I have to catch these bastards and gain experience. I have to catch them!
Carefully examining what seemed to be dried purple tea leaves and white powder, she lightly tapped the white powder with her index finger and sniffed it.
“Is this for real?”
The tangy smell, the exact same drug she knew from ⟨Panic in the City,⟩ appeared in a completely different world. She was confused.
Were these drugs really being distributed in ⟨Panic in the City⟩? Why were drugs that existed there being distributed here as well?
Were they originally part of the game? It was supposed to be a dating simulation game, right? Why are drugs being distributed so blatantly in a game where you’re supposed to enjoy an alcohol-induced lovey-dovey atmosphere and squeeze sesame oil until you feel greasy?
Boluet is a drug that intensifies sensory perception to the extreme. I speculated that it was the game developer’s insane attempt to provide players with such experiences for pleasure… but I quickly dismissed that thought.
I heard a story that ⟨Panic in the City⟩ received a rating of 19+ due to its explicit content, and as a result, their upcoming game ⟨You’ll Fall in Love⟩ was planned to be a more mainstream game for all ages.
So, could this be… by any chance because of me? Is it because of my passive skill that increases crime rates within a 1km radius?
Doubtful, she absentmindedly brought the stained Boluet on her fingertip to her tongue. At that moment, Elysia locked eyes with a man who seemed to have been watching her for a long time.
“You, drop that thing immediately.”
Approaching with steady steps, Evan swiftly snatched the pipe from Elysia’s hand, his stern face giving her a piercing gaze. It was a look akin to disarming a bomb, leaving Elysia perplexed.
Huh? Um? What? Yes?
In that moment, she saw herself reflected back.
The band-aids on her cheeks, the two types of drugs spread out in front of her, the pipe and inhalation device she’d taken from the drug offenders earlier, and the powder on her fingers and on the tip of her tongue.
“……F*ck. The world can’t be doing this to me, there’s no way.”
Desperately denying it, but the system window kindly informed her of her demise.
♥ system: Evan Sylvester’s affinity -100 ♥
♥ system: Dear player! It seems like you’re facing a difficult time. ㅠ0ㅠ
To provide you with a strategy hint, we’ll convey his current perception of you! *^^*♥
♥ system: Evan Sylvester sees you as a ‘drug addict’! ♥
“This is insane?! What am I supposed to do about it!!!”
A trembling mouth and a stream of profanity.
Evan looked at her, gesturing towards the empty space, as if he considered her a lost cause. Elysia was dragged away by Evan’s hand, or rather, saying she was dragged away was an understatement.
It was more accurate to say that she was being taken into custody.