Doomsday Wonderland 669 A Cowherd Point At A Faraway Apricot Flower Village
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The s.p.a.ce under the bed was filled with an impenetrable umbra to the brim. From the darkness, a red turtleneck sweater slowly wriggled its way out of a bag. The collar of the sweater meandered along the floor like a turtle's neck coming out of its sh.e.l.l.
Then, her recollection stopped there. Since she was merely a kid at that time, she barely had any memory of what happened after that. And right now when she recalled the incident, she found that her younger self probably did not care much about it. After all, a child's brain was often filled with a kaleidoscope of fantasy images, and it was very likely that the kid Lin Sanjiu regarded it as one of those wild and bizarre imaginations she had.
Be that as it may, even after so many years had pa.s.sed, Lin Sanjiu still got plagued by a surge of uneasiness whenever she crawled underneath a bed. She had used up every bit of her Higher Consciousness, as she could not use the Hypersensory here, and with the unfathomable darkness that filled every inch of the area under the bed, she felt as if she had returned to her younger self, unarmed and powerless.
Lin Sanjiu continued to advance forward for a longer while before she came to a stop. With an outstretched arm, she tried to reach into the darkness ahead.
She was a little worried that she might touch a face, the collar of a sweater, a corpse, or some other weird things. Fortunately, there was nothing but a cement floor in the darkness ahead.
Letting out a sigh, she resumed moving forward.
As she dragged herself forward, a dreadful, monotonous cycle of movement by sc.r.a.ping her elbows and knees against the floor again and again, her elbows and knees began to hurt, but the angst that s...o...b..lled in her heart offset the pain.
She had been crawling for a full minute.
A minute was not short, and regardless of how large a bed was, one minute was more than sufficient for her to worm her way out, not to mention that the bed was only the size of a normal double bed.
Lin Sanjiu turned around to see that the slim rectangle of light at the back entrance dimmed down and shrunk into a little glimmer of light. It gave her the wrong impression that she had entered a tunnel rather than crawled under a bed.
'Could it be that the size of this bed enlarges indefinitely like the other furniture?'
Lying p.r.o.ne on the floor, she raised her hand and knocked on the thing above her head. It still felt like a wooden bed to her.
'Should I try putting it into my card?'
However, she forwent the attempt in the end, for this bed was by no means an ordinary piece of furniture. After a short bout of rumination, she decided to stop going forward. The darkness was getting thicker ahead, and it seemed almost endless. She laboriously turned around and began double-backing to the entrance.
The silence was affected only by the rustling of Lin Sanjiu's skin and clothes, which grated against the rough cement floor. After what seemed like ages, she stopped in her tracks and peered ahead through the narrow s.p.a.ce below the bed. She realized that the coffee table and the feet of the giant wardrobe that she pa.s.sed by just now had gotten clearer in the dark. She was washed by a wave of new-found relief as she let out a sigh.
Fortunately, the distance to the entrance did not increase in tandem with the size of the bed, for the increasing size of the rectangle of light that heralded the entrance got closer.
When she arrived at the side of the bed, she let out another sigh of relief, a longer one than the last. However, she did not go outside straight away but instead remained hidden underneath the bed, studying the surroundings with extra diligence.
Then, she froze.
Although she had stopped crawling, the rustling of clothes did not cease. It continued to tickle her ears.
At that moment, blood rushed up to her brain. She jerked her head around, but she saw nothing in the darkness. The face she had been antic.i.p.ating did not come into her sight, and the air seemed to have stopped flowing as well.
The rustling suddenly stopped.
Her brain turned blank. She summoned a towel and brandished it, drawing a half arc in the air. Nevertheless, the towel did not hit anything in the dark. All she got in return was a snap as the end of the towel connected with the floor with a mighty smack.
There was nothing in the dark.
'But that voice was clearly very close…' Before Lin Sanjiu could get deeper into her thought, a gush of tepid, faint breathing blew over her head.
Slowly, ever so slowly, Lin Sanjiu raised her head. In the slit between two planks, she saw an eye, a pale globe that swiveled back and forth nervously.
'Was he following me all this time?'
With that thought in mind, Lin Sanjiu inched herself further away, but with the concrete floor against her back, a few centimeters was the furthest she could get away from the eye. She dared not to go through the entrance right now. She summoned her [Tornado Whip] and whipped up a powerful gale before sending it towards the white eye above her.
The powerful gale blasted the bedplate into a shrapnel of wood and elicited a pained howl from the figure. A blanket of darkness that was several tones lighter than the tenebrous underneath the bed then befell Lin Sanjiu as a gush of cold, musty air a.s.saulted her nostrils. She jumped to her feet and growled, "Who is there?!"
A sharp and faltering voice rang out. At the same time, a tiny figure barreled headlong into a pile of tables on one side. However, as he had run too fast, the whole stack of tables was knocked down. The noise of the tables falling to the ground echoed loudly in the night.
"Ah!" The tiny figure was buried under the heap of tables. He brandished his legs madly in the air as he continued to shout, "Go away, go away… Please don't come near me, please don't come near me."
Lin Sanjiu relaxed when she realized the person was even more afraid of her. She looked around for any sign of the highest G.o.d. After she ascertained that the young deity was not around, she took a few quick steps towards the figure and tightly gripped his leg. She never knew a human leg could be this thin before she got ahold of the figure's ankle. It was so skinny, she felt that it was no thicker than a pair of chopsticks combined. The bone sc.r.a.ped against her palm, and she couldn't help but shudder at the weird sensation.
"Come out! Who are you!?"
"Don't, don't touch me!" the figure screamed again, its voice so sharp that she could not tell its gender. With a quick motion and a pull, Lin Sanjiu yanked it out of the mess of tables. Then, she froze, still as a statue.
The figure had an abnormally large head, supported by a thin, tiny neck. He was skinny to the point of being skeletal, with skin as pale as a dead man's, probably because he had not bathed under the sun for a prolonged period of time. Also, if it weren't for his pasty complexion, she might have thought he was one of those emaciated African children.
He looked like he was no more than six-years-old. His back arched like a bent bow, and his bones were twisted out of shape. As he stared at Lin Sanjiu with wide-eyed horror, the latter found that there was more white than black in his eyes. He pleaded, "Don't kill me, please don't kill me. It hurts, it hurts so much."
Lin Sanjiu slackened her grip a little bit. With a frown, she asked again, "Who are you?"
"I, I..." He seemed so frightened, tears welled up in his eyes, but they did not fall. "My mommy calls me Eggy…"
Lin Sanjiu was stunned.
"How old are you?"
"I… I don't know…" He answered haltingly. His entire body trembled in fear. "Before my mommy disappeared, she said I was five-years-old…"
"How long since your mom disappeared?"
"A very long time…" It seemed as if the question had triggered a certain spot in the boy's heart. More tears welled in his eyes, and the nasal tone in his voice thickened. "Mommy… she… gone…"
"How did you come here?" Lin Sanjiu completely released the boy's ankle. She held the boy up with extra care as if she was treating a porcelain doll. She dared not to stay here, as her pursuer might show up at any moment. Holding the boy in her embrace, she went around the maelstrom of wood chunks and tables and squeezed into a slit between two cupboards.
"Mommy brought me here." Eggy seemed to be less frightened of Lin Sanjiu, as his voice became smoother. "My house, my neighborhood, everywhere was on fire. Mommy told me that we could leave that fire on my fifth birthday. Then, we came here."
Although the boy's voice was so low it was almost a whisper, he spoke in an orderly way. Hence, after a few bouts of questioning, Lin Sanjiu figured out the entire situation. After the apocalypse arrived in his original world, his mother had been brought him to roam around. Both of them managed to survive through 14 months, and they even got two visas. Then, both of them came to the Olympics.
But little did they expect that this was not a blessing but the beginning of a nightmare. Eventually, the mother died in the Olympics while her son, who she adored, was thrown into the furniture cemetery created by the highest G.o.d. He had been roaming inside the furniture cemetery for many years. Since he posed no threat to anybody, everyone who came into this furniture cemetery just treated him like he was invisible. However, Lin Sanjiu was confident that with his current body state, it would not be long before he succ.u.mbed to malnourishment and died.
"Have you eaten any food? Do you have water?" As Lin Sanjiu asked, she clutched the [Demae Iccho Beef Instant Noodles] in her palm.
"I have not eaten for a long time…" Eggy said powerlessly. "Sometimes when I follow behind somebody like you, they give me something to eat. Other times, I just eat some cotton and wood."
In an apocalyptic world where resources were everything, Lin Sanjiu was sure that there would not be many people who would be kind enough to spare him some food. Lin Sanjiu felt a pang of guilt when she realized that she almost killed the boy just now. She was not an expert in taking care of kids, so to make it up to him, not only did she treat him to a bowl of noodles, she even packed a bag of rations for him. The boy sobbed as he wolfed down the bowl of noodles, causing Lin Sanjiu to think of how many awful things he had gone through after coming to this world.
"Take it slowly," Lin Sanjiu said, "Leave some for tomorrow, understand?"
Eggy nodded his head profusely. Lin Sanjiu quickly stopped him, as she feared that his head might fall off.
After she had settled the young boy, Lin Sanjiu raised her head and looked around. The silvery light from the [Ability Polis.h.i.+ng Agent] had dimmed down to the degree that she almost couldn't see it anymore. It had merely been a few minutes, yet it had become even further away from her. Looking ahead, she found that, like Eggy, she was lost in this furniture cemetery as well.
"Let me ask you something," said Lin Sanjiu stiffly. If there was something she didn't thrive in, it was the skill in talking to a kid. "Aside from me, have you seen anybody else tonight?
Lin Sanjiu's eyes glowed. She pressed on, "How does he look like? Which way did he go?"
"It was a man dressed in black clothes," Eggy said as he recalled his memories, "He was also covered in many layers of white clothing, and there was a lot of blood on his body. When he walked, I could hear a crackling noise."
Doomsday Wonderland 669 A Cowherd Point At A Faraway Apricot Flower Village
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Doomsday Wonderland 669 A Cowherd Point At A Faraway Apricot Flower Village summary
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