Doomsday Wonderland Chapter 34
The pocket dimension finally ended. Lin Sanjiu gave a sigh ladened with her complex emotions.
Because they had restarted three times in the pocket dimension, it felt like quite some time had passed. However, the rays of the eastern sun on the horizon lit up their surrounding only after they had driven for an hour. Since they woke up at 10 pm at night and the sun usually rises around 5 - 6 am, it meant that Lin Sanjiu's group had only spent about six hours in the pocket dimension.
In the end, she still could not understand why that woman would commit suicide… Lin Sanjiu was perplexed by this.
After they had heard the gunshot, she went back to Chen Xiaoyun's apartment with Li Zhijun and was shocked by the gory scene. Even though she had a vague hunch that Li Zhijun had something to do with it, it was undeniable that they only heard that lethal gunshot after they both reached downstairs. Likewise, it was a fact that the woman killed herself using her own ability.
Li Zhijun acted very naturally, even with Lin Sanjiu looking, he took out a tiny light bulb and held it above the corpse. Suddenly, as if the corpse reacted, it emitted yellow lights at intervals which were all absorbed into the tiny light bulb. Lin Sanjiu had her suspicions and tried to pry a couple of times, but he skilfully avoided her questions.
[Anyway, what has happened has happened. It's best not to know too much about dangerous people. The most important thing is to deal with the present…] With that, she managed to stop thinking about the matter.
The truck slowed down. With Lin Sanjiu leading the way, they drove their fleet of vehicles into the factory district. The area they were in was a new industrial park which had been well planned. Ash gray five-story buildings were neatly arranged in rows within their allocated plot. Despite over a month of erosion caused by the elevated temperatures, the factory buildings appeared way more durable than the building in the city.
As Lin Sanjiu looked absent-mindedly at the sign at the entrance of the factory district, she recalled what Li Zhijun said before he left last night.
"We are leaving now. After all, Tian Minbo is still somewhere out there..." Li Zhijun flashed a pleasant grin showing his white teeth, "Take care."
"Didn't you say that you wanted us to do something in return?" Lin Sanjiu kept that in mind.
"Well, I haven't decided. Let's take it that you all owe me a favor…" Li Zhijun said softly, "Just don't forget about it."
"We won't, of course! Brother Jun, Brother Ji, we got out of this jam thanks to the both of you. If you need help, just let me know!" Luther leaped forward, thanking them both sincerely. Marcie stood beside him nodding gratefully.
Lin Sanjiu was the only one who sighed inwardly. Owing someone a favor is one thing, but for that someone to be Li Zhijun… However, something puzzled her: After 14 months, they will be randomly transported into any of the thousands of existing parallel universes. If they don't even meet again in their lifetimes, wouldn't Li Zhijun's intentions be in vain?
Almost as if he had read her mind, Li Zhijun narrowed his eyes and said unexpectedly, "Right, there is another thing I want to tell all of you. Do you know that there is something called a visa? If you find a consular officer, you can get a visa each and head to the next world together. This way, you won't get separated."
Luther immediately sought for advice, "That's our plan, Brother Jun, do you have any clues to go about that?"
"I don't have anything concrete, all I can say is that your best chances are where people gather," Li Zhijun replied as his gaze rippled across Lin Sanjiu. He continued, smiling, "It is really odd, but once a person gets a visa for the first time, they will be registered under the shared database of all consular officers; it works like a network operating system. If you amass enough items to make an exchange, you could even find another person through a consular officer."
[Fine. So, this is a debt we must repay…] Lin Sanjiu thought to herself before she suddenly asked, "Who manages these consular officers anyway? Is it possible that organizations still exist within these apocalyptic worlds?"
"No. 'Consular Officer' is a type of evolved ability. Usually, a person will not gain other new abilities after they had developed the 'consular officer' ability. However, a consular officer cannot issue a visa to themselves, so they have to get other consular officers to issue one. You can say that this ability only benefits others and not the user. Therefore, generally speaking, people who possess this ability will use their issued visas to exchange for necessary supplies and safety."
The three greenhorns listened in awe.
"Okay, good luck to all of you! Try to look in crowded places!" Li Zhijun turned and walked away as he said this, waving one arm in the hand as a farewell gesture. Before Hei Zeji took a step forward, he suddenly stopped and looked at the three of them. His ramrod-stiff posture seemed to mellow a little, "You're all so weak. No one will come to your rescue next time."
After he said that coldly, he caught up with his companion. With a few leaps and bounds, they both disappeared into blocks of buildings. With an array of complicated emotions, the three of them who remained, made preparations to continue on their journey.
With that said, finding a consular officer was the most pressing issue right now. As they walked past another factory, Lin Sanjiu ruminated over what Li Zhijun said. [Crowded places? In this hypothermic hell, most humans are already dead. How can there still be crowded places?]
Just a second after this thought surfaced in her mind, Lin Sanjiu was startled by the sudden sound of music. A lively, upbeat dance music quickly filled the rundown street in front of them. If was as if God had overheard her thoughts.
Shortly after, someone shouted out happily, over the loud music, "New people have arrived!"
A cacophony of noise suddenly erupted from the factory building in front of them. The door belonging to a factory called "Reunion Food Processing Plant" was pulled open, and a group of people rushed out onto the road, clattering. Lin Sanjiu was shocked and quickly stepped on her brakes. At the same time, she heard Luther's confused voice over the walkie-talkie, "What going on?"
"I have no idea... Let's see what they're up to!" she replied hurriedly.
Unlike Lin Sanjiu and the others who were clad in filthy clothes covered with dirt, sweat, and blood, the group of men and women that came out, blocking the road in front of them, wore fresh and clean clothes. They waved incessantly at them, as if welcoming the return of their families. Each of them seemed to be genuinely happy. Within the crowd, there was even a girl who jumped and waved continuously, even though she was wearing high heels.
Lin Sanjiu hesitated and did not dare to get down from her vehicle. She didn't mind being called a coward, but the first thought that came to her mind when she saw so many people was that they were all posthumans. The elevated temperatures within Hyperthermal Hell had already reached an unknown level. Anyone who could survive and maintain the normalcy of their appearance and mannerism must undoubtedly be a posthuman. From her rough estimate, there were at least twenty people in the group. After all, their vehicles were filled with supplies, if these people harbored any ill intent...
Lin Sanjiu cautiously winded her window halfway down and shouted out, "Who are you guys? Why are you blocking the way?"
The group of people started discussing softly among themselves. Finally, a middle-aged woman was elected out of the group by popularity. She appeared slightly embarrassed and even said to the group, "You are all putting me on the spot." Thereafter, she smiled and approached Lin Sanjiu's truck.
Lin Sanjiu quickly sized her up. The woman was about forty-years-old, had a medium built, and her hair was tied up in a bun. She had an honest and kind countenance. The thing that bothered Lin Sanjiu the most was the fact that the woman was wearing clean, elegant, and well-coordinated clothes, and a pair of mid-heels. Her outfit was seemingly fitting, even for a time before the insane heat descended upon their world.
Not only this woman but also the group of people behind her, all appeared relaxed as if their lives had been comfortable and peaceful. In contrast, a drop of Chen Xiaoyuan's blood was still on Lin Sanjiu's face. She tried to casually wipe it away, but instead, it was smeared into a line. Her originally beautiful long hair was now tied up in a messy ponytail; when she looked at her reflection in the rearview mirror, she saw that her brows were tightly knitted, her guard was up, and her face was covered with dirt.
"Hi, young lady. This place is called 'Oasis'. My surname is Li, you can call me Sister Li," the middle-aged woman sounded very enthusiastic. She was like… the type of representative that the management will choose to speak in general meetings. "You don't have to be worried or afraid anymore. Once you are here in Oasis, your suffering and difficulties will end!"
She ended her sentence with a zealous fervor, and the group behind her cheered.
Lin Sanjiu did not say a word—honestly speaking, she did not know what to say in such a situation either. She looked at Sister Li quietly and waited for her to continue.
"Young lady, what's your name? Why don't you come down? You can have a proper meal and take a bath… You poor child. You must not have rested well these few days." Sister Li looked at Lin Sanjiu sympathetically.
Lin Sanjiu did not move, she only asked, "What kind of place is this Oasis?"
She heard a few crackling static sound from the walkie-talkie beside her. Apparently, Marcie and Luther were listening in without a word.
Sister Li smiled confidently as if she had anticipated her doubts. "You must know what has happened outside. Many people have died… Not only humans, even trees! There isn't even any water out there! But under the protection of Oasis, our living conditions are just as before. We don't ever have to be worried or fearful because our camp is able to support a population of more than ten thousand people. Everyone here has enough to eat and drink. If we fall sick, we can also see the doctor…"
Her face beamed when she talked about Oasis, "There is already a population of 1800 people in Oasis. We swore to save every single human being in this world!"