Doomsday Wonderland Chapter 8
Among posthumans, there was an unwritten rule that you should not inquire about someone's ability.
As the variety of abilities gained through evolution were extremely unique and unusual, perhaps even beyond people's' imaginations, even a single seemingly unremarkable ability might become a trump card to one's survival. Naturally, no one was willing to show their trump cards to others.
Unless it was really necessary, most people abstained from even using their abilities in front of others.
Luther had brought up this point to Lin Sanjiu before — so why did Marcie made such a request? "It is a misunderstanding," Marcie smiled, probably realizing that her request seemed inappropriate. She wasn't that young in the first place, so when she smiled, a few lines of faint wrinkles appeared on her face. "Considering the current level of my ability, I am unable to tell what active skills you have. I can only analyze some of your basic stats. I think it will be useful for you to know some of your own basic stats as well… This, of course, depends on your decision. Do you want to try?"
"Okay!" Lin Sanjiu replied without any hesitation, stretching her arm out. "I trust the both of you."
Besides, during their tussle with the duoluozhong, Luther and herself had already exposed many of their abilities to each other. Both of them were not stupid; since she could guess how Luther's abilities work, similarly, Luther would definitely have an inkling of what hers were. It wasn't really necessary to be so secretive.
The hard tips of her metal nails gleamed with a cold metal sheen. It barely touched Lin Sanjiu's arm, and just as if invited, the tip of her nail sunk into Lin Sanjiu's skin. Just when Lin Sanjiu was beginning to feel a slight pain, Marcie had already withdrawn her nails and was smiling at her, "It's done."
She took the single spherical drop of blood and dripped it on her palm. The drop of blood immediately disappeared. Following which, Marcie closed her eyes. When Lin Sanjiu looked at her arm again, she could see that the gash was so minute that it had long clotted.
"Marcie's ability is quite basic right now, so she will need quite some time to analyze that data…"
Luther explained sounding rather embarrassed. "All active skills will slowly be upgraded over time, you will understand in the future."
Lin Sanjiu thought about that weird ability of hers. Does that mean that those rubbish cards will be upgraded? What will they become? At the bare minimum, it should allow her to transform items without any limit, right?
As she thought of this, she somehow recalled that she had already "stored" the metal gates twice; even though the second time only lasted for a short two seconds. She wondered if she had used up her quota for today. She needed to find the right time to test it out...
While waiting for Marcie to analyze the data, and out of her own curiosity, Lin Sanjiu started chatting with Luther. Compared to her, he was the more experienced one, having been through two other New Worlds. As he shared his experiences, many of which new and foreign to her, she listened, feeling amazed for one moment, laughing out loud the next, and even felt on the edge during the exciting parts. Luther probably had not spoken so carefreely to someone in a long time. Their relationship improved within only that short span of time.
They were almost done with their conversation. When they looked over to Marcie again, she was still in the same position. Her eyes were fully shut, and she did not make a sound.
"How long does it take for Marcie to analyze the data?" Lin Sanjiu finally asked. "Eh… from what I see, I think she'll need another one to two hours," Luther replied appearing slightly embarrassed. "It didn't take her that long to analyze my stats in the past…"
"That long?" Lin Sanjiu was startled. She immediately leaned over and looked upward to the sky through the car window. At that moment, the color of the black night sky was already visibly lighter, and the horizon in the east was already showing a line of ashen white. As she plopped back into her seat, her face revealed her slight worry.
"What's wrong? What's with that face?"
"It'll be dawn soon," Lin Sanjiu mumbled, turning to Luther. "It is already that hot at night. Once the sun rises, the car will be directly under the sunlight... what will be the temperature then?"
Luther was momentarily stumped by her question. They looked at each other in dismay. Lin Sanjiu massaged the area between her brows and said a little wearily, "If we stay another two hours here, we will all become roasted ducks."
Even though there was an adequate amount of electricity and petrol in the car to maintain the air-conditioner for some time, this bit of cool air seemed ever so fragile compared to the vicious assault of heat from the outside environment — and this was only the situation at night. When morning would come, that pitiable air-conditioner in the car would definitely not last against the heat of the scorching sun even if it overworks till it breaks down…
"You are familiar with this place, so do you have any suggestions?" Luther, who had maintained a relaxed look all this while, couldn't help taking things more seriously right now.
She did have an idea. The most luxurious shopping mall in the city was located near this condominium estate. The building itself was basically useless. The mall was designed with a tall tropical forest feature in the center, and to create the visual impact of an integrative nature experience, the ceiling was built with transparent reinforced glass. In the past, having the sunlight on your shoulders, while strolling among the greenery was a wonderful experience. In the present context, it was definitely deadly.
However, the basement of the shopping mall was occupied by a huge import supermarket. Aside from providing shelter from the sunlight, there was also a large quantity of food and water...
As Lin Sanjiu described the mall, Luther suddenly became excited: "Supermarket! That's great! You don't know this, but Marcie and I have not eaten any decent human food in over a year! In the previous New World that we were in, we ate hardtack or army rations every day. When the situation was really bad, we had even resorted to chewing on tree barks. My god, I had a bad constipation, my stomach was as hard as a rock…" Lin Sanjiu looked at him with lifted brows. Luther realized that he had said too much and gave an awkward cough: "You're right. We have no idea what the temperature would be like in the morning. We should indeed start planning."
After they discussed quietly for a while, both of them quickly came to a decision: they will first drive to the entrance of the shopping mall, next they will park the car in a shady spot, thereafter Luther will carry Marcie, and they will enter the supermarket together.
The food section took up the largest area in the supermarket. In addition to that, there would also be stock in the warehouse. There should be more than enough ration for three of them. Furthermore, the location of the shopping mall was ideal. If they were lucky, they could even settle down in the supermarket, it could be their main shelter, and they could live there peacefully for a year...
Lin Sanjiu knew that she might be a little over-optimistic, the actual circumstances probably wouldn't be as ideal. Unfortunately, she could not foresee that even the first step of their plan (driving up to the entrance of the mall), would end up being a practically impossible mission.
The shopping mall was situated in an exceptionally good location, it was just on the main street of the city center. The small district nearby was famous for its nightlife. The lights were lit throughout the night, and it had never-ending traffic. Coincidentally, this month was the shopping mall's 5th year anniversary, so they were opened for 24 hours for the entire month...
As the temperatures soared last night, the first thought that many people had was to head there to seek refuge from the heat. Right now, the main street was crammed with a long queue of cars with loud, rumbling engines. Their car was at the very end of the line. All working cars were, of course, in ignition. As she squinted her eyes and looked toward the direction of the shopping mall, she could somehow see the area around the water fountain at the entrance. It was littered with a dense crowd of people, lying on the ground.
It was probably impossible for them to drive the car over. Lin Sanjiu struck the steering wheel violently and decided to reverse the car. However, in the time that she paused to look at the situation, another car had now appeared in the view of her rear mirror. Their Audi was now trapped in the queue.
"The electrical grid had been down for hours, why are there still people heading in this direction?"
As they were surrounded by a countless number of hot running engines, the flaw of the broken window in their car was made obvious. The miserable bit of cool air from the air-conditioner could not match the savage heat that seeped through the gaps of the makeshift seal on the broken window. Luther's fair skin was gradually turning pink, just like a giant rabbit.
Lin Sanjiu sighed, "They probably wanted to get out of the city… This is the main street. It is linked to a couple of intercity expressways. Let's just wait, the car behind us would definitely also decide to leave..."
Just within the time span of her two sentences, a few more cars joined the line. The first car of that new group suddenly realized the situation in front. Perhaps the driver was too anxious. Without even any warning, she grabbed her steering wheel and reversed. The car collided with the hood of the car behind it. Thick smoke immediately rose out.
Lin Sanjiu gave a quiet yelp due to the shock before she cursed out with expletives. The car that tried to reverse was a Land Rover. The large vehicle was now in a horizontal position. It had basically blocked off half the road. In addition to that, the car with the damaged hood did not look functional anymore. Now, the way back was totally blocked.
In the distance, a car that just joined the line quickly made a turn and escaped.
Apart from Marcie, who was totally unaware of her surroundings, the two of them in the car sighed. What choice do they have now? They could only abandon the car and continue on foot.
The sky was now a hue of green, just like duck eggs. It certainly wasn't as bright as being in broad daylight, but it was bright enough for them to see everything.
"How much water do we still have?" Luther licked his dry, chapped lips, feeling uneasy.
Lin Sanjiu looked at her backpack. Actually, she knew even without looking. There was not even a single bottle of mineral water left. She only had three cans of cola, and they were even warm.
Considering the condition of both their bodies, she threw over a can of cola. "There are only three of these. Just drink it quickly! Even if it doesn't hydrate you, at least you get some sugar. We will probably need quite a lot of energy to get there."
Unexpectedly, once Luther drank a mouthful, he paused. As he burped, he asked, "What's this?" Apparently, in his original world, the Coca-Cola Company did not exist. Looking at him smack his lips savoring the last bit of the beverage, Lin Sanjiu finished hers as well. She threw out the empty can and asked, "Are you ready?"
Luther nodded. She took a deep breath, opened the car door and got out. The air which was now several times hotter than before rushed toward them.