Doomsday Wonderland Chapter 108
She could still remember the sticky sensation between her fingers when her hands were covered in her ex-boyfriend’s blood and how she couldn’t wash away the bloodstain under her nails no matter how hard she tried. She remembered the heat wave which lunged at her when she stepped into the carpark. She could remember how her heart raced the first time she saw a duoluozhong. It was as clear to her as yesterday.
"14 months passed so quickly." she knew that she was dreaming yet she was still lucid, so she couldn’t help lamenting.
Everything around her looked so realistic that Lin Sanjiu doubted if she was really dreaming. She looked around but she couldn’t tell how large this place was. The darkness around her seemed to extend forever, with no boundary. The only eye-catching thing in this space was the large white cube not far from her. It was about her height and its width could probably fit three to four people. On the upward face, she could see the black words: Hyperthermal Hell.
This was the dice that Luther mentioned about.
When Lin Sanjiu stepped forward, she suddenly thought of Luther. [How are Luther and Marcie now? 12 should have already taken on his corporeal form. With such a scary person like 12 beside them, will they still have peaceful days ahead?]
Thinking about her old companions, she couldn’t help think about her new companions. [Have B.Rabbit and the others received their visas? If so, to which world would they go next?]
In these 14 months, Lin Sanjiu met so many people, companions, enemies, and acquaintances… Yet, in the end, she didn’t expect that she would continue alone.
Knowing that she will wake up from her dream alone in a new world, she sighed softly. For a split second, she suddenly felt a lingering attachment toward Hyperthermal Hell.
"Alright, I have to go." Lin Sanjiu said as if to encourage herself, as she rubbed her hands and walked forward.
The large dice in front of her suddenly started vibrating as if it were alive. Shortly after, it shot to the sky as if it were tossed by an invisible hand. In the darkness, it grew smaller and smaller, rotating as it disappeared upward.
Even though she knew that the dice would not fall on her, she couldn’t help stepping backward. She looked upward as the white dice spun. Every now and then, she could see a line of word appearing. The dice gradually appeared larger and larger until it landed on the ground soundlessly.
She rushed forward and looked at the words facing her, her heart was pounding.
The next world was simply named, "Garden of Eden".
Lin Sanjiu was a little taken aback. That name didn’t seem suitable for an apocalyptic world. With the names like Hyperthermal Hell, Whiteout Blizzard, and Black Death City, she could imagine what sort of world they were. But Garden of Eden...
Just as she was feeling puzzled, she felt a sudden exhaustion from deep within her consciousness. It quickly enveloped her mind and she suddenly felt that she could no longer keep her eyes opened. She felt as though she hasn’t slept for many days so she didn’t even have a chance to resist. Darkness quickly crept into her consciousness.
Lin Sanjiu did not know how long she slept. Before she could open her eyes, the first thing Lin Sanjiu noticed was the refreshing breeze brushing across her exposed skin. The breeze was gentle and did not carry even a grain of sand. It was cooling, and she even felt a little cold compared to where she once was.
She had left Hyperthermal Hell. Her body sent this information to her brain before she was even fully awake. She felt as if her entire body was soaked in a pool of cold water. How long has it been since the temperature around her was a normal 20-odd degree? She couldn’t imagine that this temperature could feel this cooling…
Lin Sanjiu rubbed her eyes as she propped herself up with one arm. When she opened her eyes, she was dumbfounded. If Garden of Eden meant this, Lin Sanjiu wished that all the New Worlds she encounters in the future would have such a nice, peaceful sounding name!
Even before Hyperthermal Hell descended on her homeworld, she had never seen such a clean, beautiful city.
[Wait. This is a city, right?] Lin Sanjiu was a little unsure. This place was novel to her and felt exactly like a foreign world. The ‘city’ was filled with conch-shaped buildings, with flowing lines and structure. They were about 70 to 80 stories high and were in a row of three to five. Meanwhile, the residential houses were two to three stories tall and were all covered by thick greenery that their structures were not very visible.
She saw a dark black tall tower in the distance. The oddly shaped building stood like a guardian overlooking the entire city.
There were travelators on what Lin Sanjiu assumed were sidewalks and they looked rather comfortable to stand on. She saw a mother and her two children on a travelator. They chatted and laughed as they were quickly transported to some location. Not far from her, she saw a young man digging out a large handful of sparkling bright things from what seemed to be a vending machine and putting them directly into his mouth. As she looked further, she saw that everyone seemed rather serene and natural.
If she thought about it carefully, Luther and Marcie had only experienced two worlds. Perhaps, they only had some incomplete information…
Comparing herself to the residents in the city, Lin Sanjiu tugged at her shirt awkward and dusted off the sand on her body. When she felt that she had pretty much tidied up herself, she walked toward the city. The young man, who was eating, looked at her for a second. His expression remained unchanged as he lowered his head and grabbed another handful of sparkling, red little balls and continued eating.
Next, Lin Sanjiu heard an unexpected "thud" as she hit her head against something. She looked up, feeling a little confused. There was nothing in front of her.
[What is it?] Lin Sanjiu’s nose hurt so much that she almost felt tears. She stretched out her hand with uncertainty and touched a screen of some sort, it was hard and transparent— was it glass?
She reacted on hindsight. [Why is there a screen of glass here?]
Lin Sanjiu used her hands to feel the screen of glass and realized that it was very large, she wondered who would even install a wall of glass here. The young man who was chewing on the little balls looked at her again.
Stepping forward from her previous spot to the glass, she was now very near to the man. "Hey, hi. It’s my first time here so I’m not quite familiar…"
The young man seemed to understand her. He crooked his head and observed her for a while before he pointed toward her back.
[Is the entrance behind?]
Lin Sanjiu quickly turned behind and was stunned. She took a quite a few seconds before she could comprehend the situation in front of her.
Purgatory probably looked like this.
From where she stood till the edge of the horizon, she could see a boundless land of black soil. The plants which dotted the landscape were not a lovely bright green but a murky greenish black. They were like the skin of a dying old man.
Heavy lead-gray clouds hung from the sky, making the sky seem so much closer to the ground. It was as if the sky was pressing down on the earth, exerting a gloomy pressure on a person’s heart.
There was naturally no one living among the decrepit ruins of collapsed buildings. Occasionally, something the size of a human head would crawl out from the ground. It was a beetle of some sort whose appearance would give a teenage girl nightmares for a week. It stared at Lin Sanjiu with its large pair of red compound eyes and quickly furrowed into the ground again.
Even though Lin Sanjiu had already seen quite a lot of disgusting creatures living at the bottom of the ocean, she couldn’t help shuddering as goosebumps appeared on her skin.
[What’s wrong with this world?]
She turned back quickly. Just as she was about to shout, she realized the young man eating the small round balls was nowhere to be seen. Lin Sanjiu scanned her surroundings and found no one around her. She hit the glass screen while she shouted loudly, "Hey! Is anyone around? Can anyone tell me where the entrance is?"
No one answered her. She searched around the glass screen trying to find the edge of the screen in front of her. But she quickly became disappointed.
This clean, beautiful city seemed to be enclosed in a glass globe. She could not feel the top edge of the glass nor any gap near the ground. Worst of all, she was outside its protection.
At this point, even an idiot could tell what was going on. Some sort of scary disaster surely devastated this world and wiped out a majority of the population and habitable land. However, the technical expertise of the residents here was higher than that of Hyperthermal Hell. This probably resulted in the creation of this "snow globe city" to protect the remaining human population.
The problem here was figuring out what that disaster was.
Lin Sanjiu knocked on the glass and continued shouting. Eventually, she sighed and stopped after no one responded to her. It was impossible for her to smash this protective glass. Even though the material was a lot like glass, it was nothing like the glass she knew, because the material was so strong that there was no hope of breaking it.
"Come on! You could at least hang a banner around here to tell us, newcomers, what’s going on outside!"
She wondered if her large mood swings even affected her body as she began to feel a little tired. She turned and walked toward the vast stretch of black land. However, she had only walked a few steps when she saw four or five more of those head-sized beetles. She swallowed her disgust and walked aimlessly for a short while. Suddenly, without any warning, she felt an uncomfortable sensation of gastric juice in her stomach. She began vomiting the very next second and expelled that little amount of half-digested food in her stomach.
At the same time, she felt more and more dispirited, as her steps got heavy-laden.
"Plop." Lin Sanjiu’s entire body felt weak as she fell to the ground. The black soil on the ground landed on her body following the impact. Before she lost consciousness, she suddenly understood what the ‘snow globe’ was shielding those people from.
It was radiation.