As shocking as it had been to see Dave ’s corpse in the middle of the living room, spilling his brains out everywhere, more shocking still was the fact that the cartoonish zombies from the game now looked like realistic horrors.

Bai Zhi had just managed to plant his second Sunflower when the silhouettes of the zombies began appearing out of the fog from across the street.

Ones that had an eyeball dangling from their eye socket, ones that had lost half their skull and dribbled maggots everywhere as they lurched forward…
They looked much more gruesome than the body in the house—more importantly, they could move.

Thank goodness Mustachio and Nine-Tailed Fox had expelled everything that they could from their guts, or the sight of the ghouls slowly shuffling toward them would make it hard to stand their ground, let alone deploy their plant-based defenses.

In Late Night Kitty ’s case, she had obediently kept the pair of glasses on, fully aware of her own weaknesses in this regard.

As he planted the Starfruit on the front lawn as instructed, Mustachio clutched one hand on his protesting stomach and shot Bai Zhi a glance.

Did that guy make a big deal of it in the living room on purpose because…
he expected something like this?

If he hadn ’t gotten it out of his system in the living room thanks to Bai Zhi ’s nauseating comments, the urge to throw up would have hit him upon seeing the slowly advancing mob of walking dead and he would have run off to some other corner to puke.

”Go on, get to the pool.
Let me know if any zombies start showing up. ” Bai Zhi waved a hand dismissively, blissfully unaware of Mustachio ’s thoughts.

The first wave was not a difficult one, being something that all Players were expected to survive, as long as they picked sensible, reliable plants as their starters.

But Bai Zhi ’s objective was not just to survive the first wave.
If not for the fact that the Game was only available for three hours, he would have aimed to Extract the whole thing on his own.

The measure of Extraction was how many plants a Player had unlocked, and there were 49 types of plants in the original Plants versus Zombies.
The first Player to successfully collect all 49 would be awarded ownership of the Game.

Bai Zhi had unlocked only one plant thus far, the Sunflower.
According to the rules of the game, the spaces would be unlocked automatically one by one upon surviving each wave.

In other words, surviving nine waves would allow Players to unlock all ten slots and therefore ten plants.
To unlock the other plants, Players would either need to purchase them with the currency gained from surviving the waves or clear specific challenges.

Even though the Game was derived from a game as simple as Plants versus Zombies, Extracting it would not be an easy feat, and certainly not within three hours.

As Bai Zhi expected, the first wave was relatively uneventful, and they cleared it easily.
No zombies showed up on the roof or at the pool, but this was no reason to let their guard down.

Meanwhile, Late Night Kitty was going at a frenzied pace as if she were venting her frustrations, putting down the next Fume-shroom as soon as the cooldown on the last one expired.

Thus, by the end of the first wave alone, the ground around the pool and the pots on the roof were filled with Fume-shrooms, except where Bai Zhi had instructed Mustachio and Nine-Tailed Fox to plant Starfruits and Peashooters…

After every wave, Players would get a choice to continue or leave the Game.
Continuing meant potentially greater rewards if they managed to survive the next wave, but they risked losing everything if they failed.

Since Bai Zhi and company had survived the first wave easily, they naturally chose to continue.

However, the difficulty had started to ramp up.
Whereas only a few Conehead Zombies would appear in the first wave, from the second wave onward, those became the most common enemy, while new zombies like Buckethead Zombies began to appear.

The Fume-shrooms, which used to hold back the other zombies for a few seconds, could not hold the Buckethead Zombies for more than a second, but with the help of the newly-acquired cannon fodder plants [ Cherry Bomb ] and [ Wall-nut ], they cleared the second wave just as easily as the first.

Despite their apparent success, Bai Zhi was wearing a serious expression as he took in the sight of the various plants still on the field at the end of the wave.

Soon, Wave 3 commenced.

No new zombies appeared this time, but they appeared in new places, like the pool and the roof.
With new plants unlocked, the four of them continued to be well equipped to fend off the zombies, but because each of them owned different plants, they all had to scramble from place to place to keep bolstering their defenses.

They had to sprint from the first floor to the third floor, then up to the roof, then again from the roof to get to the pool, and finally cross the great expanse of the living room to get from the pool to the front lawn…
If not for their ability to access the shop, as Verified Players, and redeem PODS to enhance their stats, all this running would have worn them down in no time.

Eventually, thanks to Bai Zhi ’s strategizing and coordination, the team successfully defended all three locations for six waves.

”Okay, let ’s call it a day here, ” said Bai Zhi, massaging his temples as the intensive mental effort of playing the Game had begun to give him a headache.

In later waves, the zombies would start attacking more frequently, forming an endless tide of all types of zombies—even Digger Zombies and Balloon Zombies.
They could defend one location just fine, but defending three simultaneously would be a massive strain on the brain.

After the waves they had cleared, the Players had unlocked a total of 21 plants.
Since they had unlocked a few duplicates, they were not able to get the maximum possible of 28 unlocks.

”I must agree! I ’m knackered. ” Mustachio let out a long exhale as he all but collapsed against the doorway.
”Flying zombies, swimming zombies, burrowing, running, even riding sharks! Never in my life have I had to face this many zombies charging at me—I could barely hold the line! ”

”Chill, you ’ll be used to it soon enough.
These are just the minor leagues. ” Bai Zhi smirked as he pulled up the system interface and prepared to tap the button to submit his progress before quitting.

A sudden thought made him freeze, and he turned to Late Night Kitty.
Reaching out a hand, he said gravely, ”Oh, almost forgot.
That portable amplifier you smuggled off with during the Newbie Run, please give it back to me.
It ’s worth a few hundred, you know. ”

Late Night Kitty could not believe her ears.

You see this coming at you, what do?

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