Chapter 28: The Names of These Worlds Are Too Weird
Translator: Pluto Editor: Tehrn
“What the hell happened!”
As the female voice cursed angrily, she gave a violent kick to the door of the bus with her boots on. The exit door of the bus immediately rattled in its frame. The bright red numerical “1” above it still hung steadily above it.
Behind Lin Sanjiu was Marcie, who sighed with a lowered head, and Luther who had just calmed down from his fury.
“Does this mean that we only have one chance left?” Lin Sanjiu took a deep breath. Her bloodshot eyes glowered, and her unfathomable fury grew. “Who are the people responsible for all that f*ckery behind our backs!”
“Xiao Jiu, don’t be so mad. If we looked at it from another perspective, perhaps we were saved by that countdown. Otherwise, we would have all been dead,” Marcie consoled her softly but was still at a loss as to what they would do next.
Even though it might be true, momentarily, Lin Sanjiu found it difficult to accept. She could not help feeling that someone was toying with them… she tried her best to curb her anger as both her hands clenched the sides of her pants tightly.
After some time, she suddenly stood up. “I am going out for a walk.”
Luther massaged his temples as if he had a headache, his expression was not any better.
She walked a few steps away from the bus while the night wind spat waves of sand at her. The slight pain made Lin Sanjiu deeply aware that she was still alive. Silence surrounded her, without a single hint of noise, it was so quiet that she could even hear the blood flowing through the vessels in her ears. This was perhaps the reason why her intense emotions gradually waned.
[It’s so quiet. But, isn’t it a little too quiet?]
She kept feeling like something was amiss.
Lin Sanjiu knitted her brows as her gaze drifted to the dirty Citro?n a short distance away from her.
[That’s right… During the previous two times, Voley would have already gone over to wake us up by this time. But why didn’t we hear his mobile phone alarm? Could it be that he hasn’t woken up?]
Just as that thought occurred to her, Lin Sanjiu strode quickly to the Citro?n and began calling out a little worriedly, “Voley! Are you awake?”
After she waited for a while, she still heard no activity from the car.
She could not wait any longer. She wiped the car’s dirt-covered windshield with her sleeve, then bent over and peeked inside.
The front passenger seat was reclined backward and used as a bed. There were packets of half-eaten food, empty water bottles, and some dirty clothes. The only thing missing was Voley, himself.
Lin Sanjiu felt herself getting anxious, she surveyed the area as she circled the group of parked vehicles. There was only a vast emptiness around them. The trees had long turned to ashes so she had an unobstructed view which stretched as far as she could see. Unfortunately, even after she had walked two rounds around the area, she could not even spot a single footprint of Voley.
Coincidentally, Luther and Marcie were getting off the bus while chatting. When Lin Sanjiu heard them, she quickly ran over to them yelling, “Voley is not in his car, he’s missing! Should we go look for him?”
They were stunned, they never expected that Voley would go missing. Marcie opened her mouth and was just about to speak when they heard a lethargic voice coming from the roof of the bus.
“I’d say, you shouldn’t look for him. You probably won’t find him anyway.”
The three of them were shocked by the voice as they instinctively took a couple of steps back and looked up at the roof. Against the large silver white moon that hung in the night sky, they could see two dark figures: one of them was standing, and the other was sitting down. They did not even realize when these men arrived. The torrid night wind swept past the two figures, it was difficult to make out their faces as their shadows melted into the moonlight.
From what it seemed, the person who spoke previously was the one sitting down. He appeared to be rather relaxed as one of his legs dangled from the roof. “Why are all of you looking at me like that? So you also think that I’m good-looking?” he quipped.
The three of them were dumbfounded for a moment; Lin Sanjiu opened her mouth and asked, “What did you do to Vo—”
Just then, the man who was standing made a quiet scoffing sound interrupting her; suddenly he stepped forward into the moonlight and leaped upward. The dark figure landed impactfully on the ground, stirring up a cloud of dust.
The man had a tall and sturdy stature, his muscular body was like that of a wild beast, exuding a dangerous aura of pent-up energy. He carried a long, slightly curved sword on his back, which appeared to resemble a katana. But he lacked a scabbard which made it a mystery how he actually attached the sword to his back. The metal-forged blade of his sword glimmered faintly in the dark.
For posthumans, jumping down from the roof of a bus wasn’t something complicated—but somehow, something about that man raised Lin Sanjiu and the others’ alarm, and they slipped into defensive postures. The man lifted his head, and he lifted a corner of his mouth slowly, revealing to the three of them a smile which one would call malicious.
In an instant, an imposing pressure like they had never experienced before swept toward them like a wave of a tsunami. As if the person had drawn out all the air from the atmosphere, the three of them even stopped breathing for a second. It became difficult for them to even stand as they were assaulted by that pressure—Marcie tried to hold her position, but she was the first one to be unable to withstand it and fell on the ground with a plop as her face turned white.
With a face brimming with defiance, his forehead was covered in cold sweat as he was forced into a half-kneel position.
Lin Sanjiu felt as though the man in front of her was squeezing her heart in his hand, every strained muscle in her body throbbed to keep her propped up. She trembled as she tried her best to resist the urge to turned and run away. She felt practically like a hare that had encountered a cougar in the prairies. It was a sort of despair that arose from her powerlessness—they were definitely on different levels on the food chain.
By this point, Lin Sanjiu’s Keen Senses was fully triggered, and all the cells in her body were screaming to her, “Run! Run! Run!”
Just when she was about to give in to her impulse to turn and run away, the man, who was still sitting while he spoke, leaped off the roof landing lightly. A breeze, like a wind in Spring which appears from nowhere, sending away the frost of winter and bringing to bloom a million pear blossoms, lightly washed over Lin Sanjiu’s face. The seemingly murderous intent which hung heavily in the air immediately abated.
Once he landed, he chided, “Why did you scare them?” Thereafter, he turned to look at the three of them consoling, “Everything’s fine. It is just a bad habit of his. You don’t have to be afraid.”
The man with the katana on his back harrumphed, he countered coldly, “That’s cos they’re weak as sh*t.”
“Who are you guys?” Lin Sanjiu asked as her heartbeat gradually stabilized. The more she heard their voice, the more familiar they sounded. “Why did you look for us?”
Luther went over to help Marcie back up on her feet. Hearing Lin Sanjiu question, he quickly added, “And what did you mean when you say that we shouldn’t look for Voley?”
Even though he was young, he was very insightful. Once that man with a gentle voice jumped down, he immediately noticed that the two men had no intention of harming them.
Judging from the situation, if that man with the fierce gaze wanted to kill them, he might only need less than 30 seconds.
The man who was sitting down moments before was actually as good-looking as he claimed. He had white dazzling teeth, and his smile reminded them of a peach blossom petal.
Seeing the slightly pitiable state that the three of them were in, he suddenly exclaimed, smiling, “I guess you have no idea what situation you are in?”
The three to them did not reply. The man with the katana suddenly chipped, “Not only weak but stupid.”
Lin Sanjiu reacted with a frown, but with the shreds of fear that still persisted, she finally bit her lips and kept quiet.
“They are new to this after all…” Mr. Peach Blossom mediated. Facing the few of them, he said, “Alright, alright. I will tell you everything from the start. From the looks of it, all of you haven’t really experienced much of the New Worlds?”
Luther looked at Marcie then he replied hesitantly, “We have gone through two New Worlds, and this is the first time for Xiao Jiu.”
When he heard this, Mr. Peach Blossom was taken aback, he gazed at them with widened eyes, “Two? You experienced two E-level worlds consecutively?”
“What’s an E-level world?” Luther asked, perplexed.
“Huh?” A troubled expression appeared on Mr. Peach Blossom’s face. “Really! I didn’t expect that we will meet total newbies. Listen. All the parallel universes inflicted with the New World phenomenon are classified into five levels, from E to A, based on survival difficulty. I think you all must have played video games before? Right, it’s like a game. If you ask me how they are classified, I can only say that people from somewhere do that. You wouldn’t know even if I told you. Anyway, for everyone to better adapt to the New Worlds, they are segregated into five levels, and E-level is the most leisurely.”
When she heard the word “leisurely”, Marcie’s expression instantly changed but eventually, she still remained silent. On the other hand, Luther was quick to retort. His fair face was flushed, but he suppressed his anger saying, “Most leisurely? Do you know how many people died in that war-ridden world? When all the soldiers of suitable conscription age died, the ones fighting on the battlefield were just children who were just a bag of bones. You call that leisurely!”
“As a normal person, being able to survive that long after an apocalyptic event, it really is a relaxing world.” Mr. Peach Blossom smiled coldly as if to aggravate him further. “You must know, it is almost worthless to be a Posthuman living in any worlds above E-level because they are that unpredictable. You might survive today, but you might not survive tomorrow… just like you guys. “
“What level is… Hyperthermal Hell?” Lin Sanjiu couldn’t help asking.
Mr. Peach Blossom eyed her for a moment, and replied with a smile, “D-level.”
Lin Sanjiu turned pale. [If this place which had already killed us twice is only D-level, how are the worlds that are C-level and above?] When she thought of this, she asked with a slight tremble in her voice, “How do you determine these levels?”
“About that, it is related to the current situation you’re all in.” Mr. Peach Blossom reverted back to his easygoing smile. “In all New Worlds that are E-level and above, there is a random chance that… uh… how should I put it… an area-based trap will appear. We call these ‘pocket dimensions’.”
“Pocket dimensions?” The three of them parroted after him.
“It is just a term, it doesn’t really matter. Just that this is the most commonly used term. A pocket dimension presents all sorts of life-threatening challenges… just like in video games, and you can only exit a dungeon after you have successfully cleared that stage. For this particular pocket dimension, the counter will fall every time you die. When you’ve used up all three chances, you will really die then.”
“So… we really only have one chance left!” Lin Sanjiu said in a daze.
“That’s right,” unexpectedly, it was the man with the katana that replied. “Your performance in the last two rounds was so pathetic that it makes me want to cry.”
Lin Sanjiu accepted the humiliation silently, swallowing her words. It was true, they suffered a total defeat twice, that was a little…
Noticing that their morale fell to the bottom with a single sentence from his companion, Mr. Peach Blossom grimaced, “It’s not really your fault. Your opponents are way more experienced… Let me introduce myself, I am Li Zhijun, he’s Hei Zeji. This round, we’ll help you.”
Translator Notes: Peach blossoms are related to one’s love fortune in Chinese Astrology and sometimes used to describe people who are attractive to the opposite sex.
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