In the hotel room, Su Bai was sitting on the chair and Fatty on the bed. Neither of them had said anything, and there was indeed nothing to say.
They had been best buddies that had fought together and gone whoring together. Although they had their own selfish plans even before the story world started, at least they could pretend to be nice and friendly.
However, after this story world, the darkest part of their minds had all come into light. There was no need to maintain the fake friendship, especially when Ego was dead.
Su Bai picked up a bottle of water from the table. He took a sip, put the bottle back and pointed to the key card in the socket on the wall supplying power for the room.
"You should go check out."
"Alright. Goodbye then," Fatty replied. It seemed that he could pull himself together instantly.
So, Su Bai just left the hotel with the azure stave in his hand. There was no need to worry about that; other people might consider it as nothing more than a tool for cosplay.
He took a taxi; in half an hour, he was back in the sanatorium.
In fact, from the beginning of the story world to the time they left, it was only a moment in the real world. Nine couldn’t have woken up in such a short time, but in Su Bai’s mind, it had been a long time and he should come and see Nine.
Looking at Nine on the bed, Su Bai didn’t know what kind of feeling he should have. He was even a little jealous that Nine could stay in a coma without knowing anything.
Of course, he knew that such idea was too unreasonable.
Su Bai used to panic after he noticed his thirst to kill because he felt as if he had gone too far from a normal life, or even from the existing social orders. Human beings were after all social animals; when he found himself off track, negative feelings like loneliness and fear would gradually take up his mind.
However, Su Bai was no longer worried or frightened. His whereabouts and where he was heading was much more extreme than before, and there was no going back.
Just then, Su Bai’s cellphone rang. He picked it up and saw it was from his own place. He put it through but there was no one speaking; after he asked for several times, there came a meow.
Only then did Su Bai remember that Lucky was left in his house after Litchi took off.
Su Bai left the sanatorium and dropped by the supermarket on his way home for some cat food. He was thinking about getting some cat litter as well, but considering Lucky’s gracefulness, he didn’t think it would like that.
He didn’t see Lucky when he opened the door, but when he went to the main bedroom on the second floor, he saw the black cat sitting on the windowsill staring at the dusky sky.
Su Bai walked to Lucky. The cat looked at him, then continued gazing at the sky.
Suddenly Su Bai’s cellphone buzzed. It was a message from a group chat. It was the group chat of his schoolmates in college. He had its messages blocked, but right now, someone had mentioned him with an "@".
Below that message, there was a preview message from Dreadful Radio. Su Bai had opened it on his way back; he had gotten 200 story points and Sophia got the rest 300. It must be distributed according to their contribution ratio, which sufficed to show that even though Su Bai was the one who finally stopped the reset, Sophia was the one who made more contribution before that.
She was a brilliant British woman. Su Bai had only remained by himself through multiple resets, but Sophia had been paving for others and even passing on information.
Anyway, Su Bai was not so obsessive with story points, for there wasn’t anything available for him right now. Luckily, in the last story world, he had activated a zombie state and thus improved his capability, which was as considerably good as some exchanges in the e-shop.
A girl was mentioning Su Bai. Su Bai couldn’t remember her very much; she must be someone on the same faculty with him.
"I heard that you’re in Chengdu?"
Su Bai answered "Yes".
"We’re in Chengdu, too. Tomorrow, we’re heading to Jiuzhaigou Valley on a self-driving trip, since you’re local, can you show us around?"
Su Bai licked his lips, looked at Lucky and then suddenly felt that it was time to hang out. No matter how intense and brutal the story worlds were, in the real world, he could always use some free time to pull himself together.
He couldn’t just stay home with Lucky waiting for the next story world. That would be too boring and passive.
Thinking it over, Su Bai replied with an "OK" and sent his cellphone number to the girl.
Soon, a call came. "Hello, is this Su Bai?"
"Yeah, that’s me."
"We’ve got six people. Four are from our school, and two among us are a couple. How about you?"
"I’ve got a pet. A cat," Su Bai answered.
The girl was surprised, then she asked, "Just a cat? By the way, do you have a car?"
"Yeah, I do," Su Bai answered.
"Great! We’re in a hotel in Taurus District. Come and join us for dinner?"
"No, thanks. Just text me where we should meet tomorrow morning."
"Great! That’ll be great! I was worried, we’ve got only one car and it wouldn’t take all of us…"
Su Bai hung up. He knew why she called him. One car couldn’t take all six of them, and she was just trying to find some help.
Luckily, it was exactly what Su Bai needed for now.
He held Lucky in his arms. Unexpectedly, Lucky was not so indifferent as usual. Apparently, the cat could also feel blue sometimes.
"Let’s hang out and have fun together."
The next morning, Su Bai went to a car rental agency, got an Audi and drove to the entrance of ring expressway.
Lucky sat on the passenger seat. It appeared that the idea of traveling light had improved Lucky’s mood, and it was indifferent again.
After 20 minutes of waiting, A BMW arrived in front of Su Bai. Everyone else got out except for the driver.
Three boys and three girls, all young in their early twenties.
But unexpectedly, four of them got into Su Bai’s car. Three of them jostled against each other on the back seats and the last one was in the passenger seat. Lucky had to stay on Su Bai’s lap.
Su Bai didn’t say anything. Nikki, the girl on the passenger seat, who was also the one who texted Su Bai, started complaining.
"Funny, she invited us here, but we end up jostling here while she and her boyfriend are enjoying themselves in a car with no one else!"
"Let it go, Nikki. After all, her boyfriend covered the entire accommodation fee. Besides, this is a big car, it’s not crowded at all."
Another girl said. She was in the back seat with her boyfriend.
"Humph, money won’t make them any better. It’s just a rich boyfriend. Did you see her face? The only reason she has invited us is to show off," Nikki continued, ignoring the fact that without that girl’s rich boyfriend, the others wouldn’t even be here.
Su Bai rolled down the window and lit a cigarette. Nothing among these students could catch his attention.
The BMW started moving; Su Bai followed it.
There were two boys and two girls in Su Bai’s car: Nikki and a boy named Sun Lin were single, Grace and Liu Gang were a couple; all four of them were from Jiangsu.
Nikki kept complaining for quite a while. After the car left Chengdu and ran into Dujiangyan District, they all cheered up. Liu Gang and Sun Lin started showing off their knowledge of history in front of the girls, talking from the origin of Dujiangyan to the Warring States and then to the unification in Qin Destiny. The girls were interested; from time to time, they would even make jokes about something. They were indeed having a great time.
When a sign of "Wenchuan" showed up beside the highway, Nikki immediately became excited. She took out her cellphone and took a picture of the sign.
"That’s awesome, we’re in Wenchuan!"
"Yeah, it’s Wenchuan."
The two boys and two girls were all intrigued.
Actually, they were still 20km from Wenchuan. And it turned dark and started to rain, which fitted their mood and the atmosphere in the car.
When the car was in Wenchuan, Liu Gang suddenly said,
"Do you think there are ghosts here? Maybe there are a lot of unfound dead bodies still buried down here…"
"No! Don’t say that! I’m scared!" Grace, Liu Gang’s girlfriend, was so scared that she tried to bury her face in Liu Gang’s chest, "You meant to scare me, didn’t you? You bad ass!"
"No need to be afraid. Tell you what, I’ve check our plan and I knew we’d pass Wenchuan, so I got a special amulet here!" Nikki was proud with a "look what I did" face.
"That’s thoughtful, Nikki. But you don’t have to be afraid, I’m here to protect." Sun Lin, who was apparently into Nikki, was planning to impress her during this trip.
"Maybe we can suggest Lan and her boyfriend that we stay here for the night? Maybe the ghosts will knock on our doors at midnight!"
"Wow, that sounds fun! So many people had died here, there must be a lot of ghosts!" Nikki posted the photos she took on her Moments, "I’m in Wenchuan now. Scared~"
Su Bai frowned. He had barely talked throughout the journey but now he couldn’t keep quiet.
"Excuse me, this is the new Wenchuan city, and it’s far from the Wenchuan which was struck by the earthquake, so there is no body and no ghost. Besides, some jokes are disrespectful to the dead. You guys should save yourself some decency."
After he finished talking, the four people were extremely embarrassed. It was like a slap on their faces, and they couldn’t argue because Su Bai was totally right.
However, just then, Grace, who had been leaning in Liu Gang’s arms, suddenly shook and started foaming at the mouth. Her boyfriend Liu Gang was shocked and burst into screams; Nikki and Sun Lin also screamed with him.
Even Su Bai was surprised. He turned on the right light, pulled over and asked himself.
Was that an instant retribution?
 Jiuzhaigou Valley: It is a nature reserve and national park located in the north of Sichuan Province in the southwestern region of China. A long valley running north to south, Jiuzhaigou was inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1992 and a World Biosphere Reserve in 1997. It belongs to the category V (Protected Landscape) in the IUCN system of protected area categorization. — Wikipedia
 Dujiangyan: It is an ancient irrigation system in Dujiangyan City, Sichuan, China. Originally constructed around 256 BC by the State of Qin as an irrigation and flood control project, it is still in use today. — Wikipedia
 Wenchuan: Wenchuan County is a county in Sichuan Province in China. The area was the site of the epicenter and one of the most severely hit areas of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake (or Wenchuan earthquake). — Wikipedia