Doomsday Wonderland Chapter 4
"I will kill all of you shameless bastards! Hiding in your own cars, with the air-conditioners… in your cars, while letting us suffer! Huh!"
The loud low thump on her car door was accompanied by an angry inarticulate yelling from the side of the road. Scared by the black shadow, Lin Sanjiu lost control of her car for a moment. She hurriedly stepped on the brake. The car let out a horrible sounding, sharp screech, fortunately coming to a stop before she hit the guardrails at the side of the road.
She turned to look behind and saw a man in a sleeveless shirt. He was sweating profusely and was now throwing bricks crazily at the red Mazda. As he threw the bricks, he scolded, "You, You are all trash… Come out here… Come out..." Before he could finish his sentence, he fell backward and fainted. Clearly, she was caught in a crossfire just now.
She exhaled deeply and turned her gaze away from her rear mirror. She could still feel some trepidation. An insane irritability, comas, hallucinations. These were all symptoms of dehydration due to the high temperature…
She took another deep breath, hit the accelerator and sped toward Zhu Mei's residential complex.
She had been to Zhu Mei's apartment multiple times before. After twenty minutes, Lin Sanjiu parked the car carefully and turned off the engine after her headlight shined on the "Rongjun Residential Complex" sign. She took the key, carried her backpack, switched on the flashlight on her phone and headed towards the metal door at the entrance of the complex.
The location of the residential complex was a little remote, so usually, there were very little people nearby. Under such circumstances, it was now as quiet as a ghost town. Strangely, when Lin Sanjiu was reaching the large metal door, she felt her heartbeat stop for a second. She paused.
She scanned her surroundings and found nothing odd. She waited cautiously for another two minutes. Noting that nothing changed, she breathed a sigh of relief.
It seems that her Keen Senses was not a hundred percent accurate.
Rongjun Residential Complex was filled with apartment buildings that were built in the 1990s. Like all old complexes, there was a guardhouse at its entrance. As the area was not very safe, the metal gate would be locked after 12 am. In the event that one of the residents returned late, they could knock on the metal gate, and the security guard on duty that day would bring the key to open the gate for them.
She looked at her watch. It was exactly 2:30 am. Lin Sanjiu stepped forward and knocked on the locked metal gate. The heavy brass lock hit against the metal gate noisily — the ear-piercing noise only dissipated after a while. However, the surroundings remained quiet, without a hint that anyone was nearby.
"Mr. Security Guard, are you there? I am visiting someone from Apartment 2. Could you please open the gate?" her bright voice traveled over some distance in the dark, silent night. Regardless of how hopeful Lin Sanjiu sounded, there was still not even a single response from the guardhouse.
She sighed. This was as expected. She started to have a headache when she looked at the row of anti-climbing spikes above the gate. The residential complex may be old, but that metal gate was newly installed. It was so sturdy that it was hopeless to get past it.
Lin Sanjiu hesitated for awhile before placing her hand on the metal gate.
Just as she said that, her palm shined with a bright light. This time, however, the white light seemed to glow rather feebly, it flashed across her palm a few times, but the metal gate remained in place. This was the first time that Lin Sanjiu tried transforming something this big and heavy. She could feel her heartbeat gradually beating faster, she was getting breathless, and her muscles were starting to ache…
It felt like her body was weighed down by several thousand pounds of metal bars. Lin Sanjiu's arm started to tremble. Just when she was unable to tolerate it any longer and about to give up, the glow in her palm faded with a "Pa!" sound. The metal gate disappeared and transformed into a card that was now lying on the ground. There was a scribbly kindergartener's level crayon drawing of two metal gates.
At the bottom of the card, it was written:
This gate was installed at Rongjun Residential Complex in 2012. Other than its weight, it has no other merits.
Function: Nothing special. It is unable to stand up straight if it is not installed to a wall.
Lin Sanjiu was practically accustomed to how useless the stupid card was. She stuffed it into her pocket and hurried towards Apartment 2.
There was still no commotion from the pitch black guardhouse behind her.
When Lin Sanjiu stood outside the front of door 401, she found herself panting like a dog. She used up too much of her physical energy storing that metal gate. Then, a little while ago, she sprinted up four stories. At this moment, Lin Sanjiu could hear her voice quivering as she said, "Zhu… Zhu Mei! Are you in? Open the door! It's me, Xiao Jiu!"
Apartment 401 was also silent. Lin Sanjiu's heart fell into the pit of her stomach — if Zhu Mei had fainted inside, she really did not know what to do. Since 12 am today, she had already transformed three item: Ren Nan's corpse, her hair, and that metal gate. She could only use her ability one more time, but she had to go through two doors in Zhu Mei's apartment when entering.
Not wanting to give up, Lin Sanjiu continued calling out and knocking on the door. She was feeling very anxious. When she was in the car, she could feel that the temperature was still rising. Even with her heat resistant body, she could tell that it was not only 56°C now. Zhu Mei was just a normal person, could she even survive this…
After shouting for some time, Lin Sanjiu felt her throat burning up, she had no choice but to take a few sips of water. After putting the bottle back into her backpack, she was just about to start knocking on the door again, when the door opened slightly with a creak. "Zhu Mei, how are you?" Lin Sanjiu finally felt relieved as she quickly looked with her flashlight.
However, the person that opened the door was not Zhu Mei. It was a late middle-aged woman with an oval face. She was in her fifties. As the flashlight shined brightly on her face, she quickly blocked it with her hand. Those few seconds was enough for Lin Sanjiu to clearly see her.
Lin Sanjiu's phone fell to the ground with a "pa" sound.
She stared unwaveringly at the face behind that partially opened door and only reacted after some time. She reached for her mobile phone in a fluster. Once again, she held her phone unsteadily as the flashlight shined on the door once more. Finally, Lin Sanjiu managed to find her voice, "Mom?"
She could feel that her mind was in a jumbled mess. "Mom, how… how can you be here? You're alright? What is going on?"
The middle-aged woman looked like she was about to burst into tears. She quickly opened the door, "Come in, quick! It is great to see that you're okay! I was so worried…"
In a confused state, Lin Sanjiu was pulled into the apartment. She stood at the corridor in the entrance. As a plethora of chaotic thoughts and questions spun in her mind, she did not know what to say. She stood there blankly, scanning the room. She saw the familiar white waist-height shoe cabinet beside her — this was the cabinet that Zhu Mei bought when she was accompanying her.
Suddenly, she asked a question. "Mom, why are you at Zhu Mei's apartment? Where is she?"
Mother Lin wiped her own tears and pulled a chair over, gesturing for Lin Sanjiu to enter and sit down. After Lin Sanjiu sat down, she explained, between sobs, "Ever since the weather became so abnormal, I have been very worried about you. When I heard that the powergrid had failed here, I rushed over… I could not get you on your phone so I came over to Zhu Mei's first, just to see if I could meet you if I waited here. But… but I think Zhu Mei is dead…"
Mother Lin sobbed spasmodically and continued, "She was such a good child… I know that both of you were close. Don't be too upset." Lin Sanjiu sat motionlessly. She fell silent. She turned off her flashlight. The apartment was once again totally dark.
"I have already prepared myself on the way here… If God decided to take her away, there was nothing I could do about it. Thankfully, you are alright, mom. That's all I can ask for..." Lin Sanjiu mumbled in the dark.
Even though she knew that her daughter could not see her, Mother Lin nodded. She wiped the tears from her face and smiled. "Your dad is alright too. He is resting in the room. I will just call him over." She turned around and walked away.
"I'll go too." Lin Sanjiu stood up quickly.
Mother Lin nodded her head as she walked, she reached for the bedroom door and said, "Hey—"
She just started her sentence when she heard a swooshing sound coming from behind her. She did not have the time to dodge. "Crash!" Her head was hit, her body turned limped as she fell to the ground. Lin Sanjiu stood behind her.
Lin Sanjiu held the chair above her, she felt that her arms were giving way. She quickly placed the chair down. Even though she placed the chair down, she did not relax the grip the chair. Instead, she gripped the chair tighter. She stared at the direction of the bedroom as if she was about to confront a formidable enemy. For a short moment, it seemed as if she could only hear her own heavy breathing and nothing from the room.
Almost immediately after, there was an abrupt sound of footsteps from behind the bedroom door. The bedroom door was pulled open. A broad shouldered man stood at the door way. He was shocked and angry when he saw what had happened. With the faint light that came from outside, one could see that the man's facial features were like Lin Sanjiu.
"What are you doing? That's your mom!" he hollered.
There was a cold expression on the face that was in front of him.
"I wished harder than you that she was my mom." Lin Sanjiu took a deep breath, she could feel the muscles in her arms and thighs twitching from over-exertion. "My dad and mom died in a car accident ten years ago. Verifying their corpse and arranging for their burial, I did all of that myself. So who are the two of you? And where is my friend?"