Chapter 2: Blistering Hot Night with a Steak
Translator: Pluto Editor: Tehrn
What was the difference between the temperature from midnight to 1 am?
If things went as usual, no one would probably feel it.
However, tonight was vastly different. The sun had long been set, but the temperature of the sweltering heat in the air seem to rise gradually with each passing minute. And to make matters worse, it had been days since there was even a little wind. The surrounding air outside the windows was no longer just air, but suffocating, scalding hot air which was waiting to rush towards you.
As if someone had given an order, the small number of families in the city who, for various reasons did not switch on their air conditioner, had also switched them on. Whereas, the people without air conditioners simply could not tolerate it any longer. Pubs, 24-hour convenience stores, offices… Wherever there was a trace of cool air, they would go.
After 30 minutes, with a “Ke Da” sound, a few night lights in the 38th-floor apartment were extinguished. The room was plunged into an absolute darkness — the constant soft buzzing sound in the bedroom had also unknowingly stopped at some point in time.
The central air conditioning had stopped.
After the air conditioner had stopped, Lin Sanjiu tossed frustratingly whilst asleep. Without the maintained temperature of a comfortable 26°C, her body was quickly covered in a layer of sweat. This layer of sweat was like an unbreathable blanket, and before long she woke up due to the heat.
“Ughh… the remote control seems to be on the bedside cabinet…” a thought flashed passed her hazy mind. As she was about to stretch out her hand to reach for it, she suddenly felt that something was wrong. She immediately stopped moving her hand. After remaining motionless for a while, she squinted slightly and peeked upward.
A snowy white face hung directly above her own face, two black, cavernous eyes stared straight at her.
“Again! It’s that again!” A loud screech exploded in Lin Sanjiu’s mind, yet her throat was so dry she couldn’t even make a sound. Her heartbeat became faster and faster, louder and louder, and that white face leaned in with his ear to listen; with a swiftness, it came closer to Lin Sanjiu.
Two weeks before, she had once woken up in the middle of the night because she was thirsty. When she got up, she knocked that face. At that time, she was so shocked that she yelped and scrambled to switch on the lights. Only to find that it was Ren Nan.
She didn’t know when Ren Nan had sat beside her, with an expressionless face in the dark, how long he had been staring at her in this manner — just like tonight.
He explained that since young he often sleepwalked.
If it weren’t for her doubts, she would have believed him. At that moment, she forced down her fears and acted like she hadn’t woken up. She rubbed her eyes and asked casually, “Ren Nan, are you sleepwalking again?”
In the dark, a smile cracked on Ren Nan’s face. “Yes, I’ve done it again. I didn’t scare you, did I?” he spoke totally articulately.
“ A.. a little…” Lin Sanjiu got out of the bed almost as if escaping. She stood at the door which gave her a false impression that she could escape anytime, so she calmed down a little. Only then did she felt the steamer-like temperature of the room. “Why is it so hot? Did you switch off the air conditioner?”
Ren Nan didn’t say a thing. He pulled open the thick, heavy curtains, revealing the set of full-length windows. Normally, Lin Sanjiu could see the dazzling night scene of half the city through these windows. On this night, however, the city had lost its everlasting illumination. Even the starlight was blocked by the clouds, leaving only a dead darkness.
In the apartment with closed doors and closed windows, it was so stuffy that it was even hard to breath.
“The electrical load must be too high; it seems like there is a power outage throughout the city.” There was still a cheerfulness in Ren Nan’s voice which showed his composure. While he spoke, he slowly stood up, walking past the end of the bed and headed to the door, step by step.
Suddenly, the alarm bells in Lin Sanjiu’s mind rang. Without waiting for him to approach, she rushed towards the living room. She finally got some repayment for the decorating and cleaning of this penthouse over these three months; in this pitch-black darkness, she still succeeded to reach the living room entrance. Without stopping to take a breath, with a “bash”, she stretched out her hand and smashed the elevator button.
Unexpectedly, it didn’t light up red. There isn’t a backup power supply system in such an expensive condominium?!
“The backup power supply is only for the lights in the stairways; they couldn’t care less for the lifts — even more so personal ones.” The voice came from behind her; a voice which she had known for half a year. Ren Nan was just as gentle, but as he enunciated his words, Lin Sanjiu heard a wetness in his tone. As if… Ren Nan could not control the saliva secreting in his mouth.
In the dark, the shadowy, blurry outline which represented Ren Nan crept towards her, finally stopping in the middle of the living room.
Lin Sanjiu felt giddy. Her sixth sense was right. A sense of regret welled up in her heart, “What… what do you want to do?”
“Your senses are quite keen,” Ren Nan swallowed a mouthful of saliva, “You should have already felt it? But you should really listen more closely to your intuition… otherwise, you wouldn’t have followed me back here. Over these few days, you should have felt conflicted… I really should thank you for your trust.”
Lin Sanjiu did not realize it herself, but her clenched fists were now trembling uncontrollably.
“Xiao Jiu, in such a hot weather, are you sweating a lot?” Ren Nan suddenly asked such a random question with concern.
Lin Sanjiu was stunned. She touched her arm subconsciously, finding that she only had a thin layer of perspiration on her skin. She started wondering why he would ask about this now.
Ren Nan nodded his head in a satisfied manner. “Xiao Jiu, you’re great! I didn’t groom you for half a year in vain…”
What the hell was he talking about? She did not understand a single thing he was saying. Lin Sanjiu wanted to open her mouth to say something, but realized that her jaw was quivering. The thought that had been in her head for these few days made her say something that she never thought she would. “Are you going to… eat me?”
“Your intuition is really sharp!” the black figure praised.
Lin Sanjiu was infuriated by his attitude. A complex mixture of fear, indignation, and bewilderment arose, and she did not feel as helpless as before. “Stop bullshitting! Who are you? Why did you choose me? Don’t you dare try anything! All my friends know that I am staying at your place…” the words flowed out like a tidal wave.
She purposely raised her voice, secretly hoping that someone would be able to hear her, as she felt her way to the open-concept kitchen at the side of the living room.
Ren Nan sighed. “On the account that you have accompanied me for 6 months, I will explain things to you before you die.” He raised his hands and snapped his fingers.
With a sudden “boom”, one of the glass walls in the living room shattered into a thousand pieces. A wave of heat, unlike what Lin Sanjiu had felt before, rushed past the glass pieces and engulfed the room. This was accompanied by a muffled scream from a distance. The last bit of remaining leftover cool air from the air-conditioner was swallowed in an instant.
“Why… why is it so hot?” It was as if someone had taken the entire city and roasted it over a barbecue pit! Before Lin Sanjiu could react, Ren Nan spoke in his gentle voice again: “From night onwards, this world is no longer the world that you people are familiar with. In this new world, according to your metric, it is… oh… 56°C.”
Lin Sanjiu was dumbfounded. At 56°C, normal humans would have died a few times over due to acute hyperthermia and severe dehydration. With this sudden thought, she quickly touched the back of her neck. Unexpectedly, Lin Sanjiu did not really sweat much more.
“See! I have only nurtured you for a few months, and you already evolved and gain the ‘Heat Resistance Adaptation’ and ‘Keen Senses’ traits. Two traits… as expected from a potential seed I’ve spotted the first time I saw you. Too bad, this new world came too early; otherwise, I would have liked to nurture you for two years before consuming…”
After the glass wall was shattered, there a dim light flooded the living room. With the aid of that bit of light, Lin Sanjiu could see Ren Nan’s face clearly.
His usual handsome model-like features gradually gave way to his large mouth, that kept getting wider and wider. Clear bright saliva poured from the corners of his mouth without restraint, and at this time, Lin Sanjiu was already forced to the corner of the kitchen.
“ I… I still don’t understand! What sort of creature are you? Why do you want to eat me? I don’t know what evolution or powers you are talking about. Didn’t you say you would explain it to me? Then, tell me!”
Even if she could only delay him for one minute, it would give her a shred of opportunity! Lin Sanjiu used her shouting voice as she secretly stretched out her hand towards the knife holder on the countertop behind her.
His large mouth stopped for a while, and then shrunk a little, revealing Ren Nan’s original facial features. “Sigh… Why are you so stupid? Of course, I am a human and Ren Nan is my name. However, I am not like your sort of “backward” types. I come from another “New World”. Anyone who survives a New World will evolve and gain different abilities… I have abilities that you would not even dare to imagine.”
Ren Nan wiped his clammy chin. “You better put that knife down, I am warning you. My eyesight is really good. Just let me eat you obediently, I promise it won’t even hurt a bit…”
“No way!” She shouted furiously. Before he barely even finished his sentence, Lin Sanjiu, filled with fear and anger, rushed towards him with a sharp knife in her hand.
The gleaming silver boning knife moved extremely quickly as it drew a bright light in the darkness. Just as the tip of the knife was about to pierce into Ren Nan’s chest, he shifted a step silently. Lin Sanjiu missed her target. She staggered forward and slipped on a piece of glass. Unable to keep her balance, she fell heavily to the ground.
His large mouth, which was almost tearing his cheeks apart, lunged forwards to attack Lin Sanjiu. He did not even give her the chance to stand up. In a panic, she only managed to turn aside and flung out the boning knife. Ren Nan dodged quickly but still received a shallow cut from the knife.
With a clash, the knife fell some distance away.
Angered and humiliated, Ren Nan pinned Lin Sanjiu to the ground, he stared at her black pupils which had shrunk to the size of a pinhead. “A steak should act like a steak!”
In the dim light, Lin Sanjiu watched in despair as the black figure close in on her throat.
Use arrow keys (or A / D) to PREV/NEXT chapter