Doomsday Wonderland - Chapter 100
Lin Sanjiu was standing right in front of the doors of a Macdonald’s...
It has already been a month since she was nearly caught by Puppeteer. Lin Sanjiu had not a single good night’s sleep for the entire month, so she had very obvious dark eye circles. As she couldn’t find portable water, she could only sustain herself with coffee;thus, she was constantly in a sleep-deprived, hyperaroused state. Despite this, she did not give up searching for clues regarding the whereabouts of B.Rabbit and the others.
The Puppeteer had probably decided to settle down at the pier because his mannequins occupied the entire coastal area. Due to this situation, Lin Sanjiu did not dare to go near the shore. She could only search in a circular manner as she continued deeper into the ocean.
But her search was futile, and she even got lost.
Logically speaking, it was quite predictable. If a person was thrown in the middle of the ocean without a nautical chart or a compass, they would definitely lose their bearings. By that point, Lin Sanjiu did not know where the shore was, and that could be a life-threatening problem.
Without any seawater, the sun-baked seabed emitted an odd-smelling fishy stench which wouldn’t go away. The seabed was not entirely flat, and soon she saw more seamounts and knolls until the terrain was like a forest of rolling hills. After climbing quite a few of these hills, Lin Sanjiu stood midway of the tallest hill and started feeling a vague sense of anxiousness.
She took stock of her supplies and realized that she had only three boxes of chocolates left. She was almost running out of food, but she was still clueless about the road ahead.
When she reached the peak, she looked out and saw that there was a fissure on the ground about one kilometer away, and as it only looked like a patch of black, she couldn’t tell much about it. She only knew that it was an oceanic trench.
After coming down the hill, she went to the edge of the trench.
Even though the probability of finding food in the deep sea was even slimmer, Lin Sanjiu was very curious as she had never seen an oceanic trench before. She leaned over the edge and looked down. The seabed instantly fell away, and it was as if her feet were dangerously close to a cliff’s edge. It fell steeply a few thousand meters down into the dark, deep base of the trench without a single gentle slope. It was impossible for the light from the stars in the night sky to reach the trench, so Lin Sanjiu could only see an indiscernible darkness and the extremely steep precipice.
[Anyone who still thinks about climbing down after seeing this must be crazy...] Lin Sanjiu rebuked herself as she held on to a jutting rock with some difficulty and climbed downward carefully. Her palms hurt badly as they were scratched by the abrasive surface of the rocks and the salt crystals on them. Even professional rock climbers would think twice before taking on such a challenging climb. If her body weren’t physically enhanced, this trench would have easily been her burial ground.
"Why didn’t you turn back just now?" she asked herself a little regretfully.
[So what if I’m lost, if I continue walking toward the flatter areas, there should be a better chance of survival than going down this trench, right?]
Just when she had decided to turn back, she suddenly heard a familiar sound. She had not heard this sound since the New World had descended. It was the sound of water.
It sounded like waves gently hitting the sides of the rock wall. Lin Sanjiu crouched for a moment, staring into the dark abyss, imagining what the seawater would look like. Even if almost the whole world has died, in the depths of the ocean, there was still water, and she was still alive. Just like how mankind will still live on.
The sound of the waves reminded Lin Sanjiu of her one peaceful, ordinary, and even a little boring, life. She leaned against the rocky wall, pausing to listen to the waves for quite some time.
Of course, that alone wouldn’t change her mind, as she convinced herself that she would never go down.
But, while she was staring blankly at the bottom of the trench, she saw something flashing by in the darkness. The light flickered for a few times as if there was a bad electrical connection before it finally stabilized. The eye-catching bright yellow light illuminated an M-shaped sign, the familiar golden arches.
For a split second, Lin Sanjiu thought that she finally had a nervous breakdown due to the various events she went through after the apocalypse. It did not make sense to her that there would be a Mcdonald's sign in the middle of the deep sea when the whole world was already destroyed.
[No. It isn’t only a sign.] Lin Sanjiu was dumbfounded when she saw another two flashes of light beside the M-shaped sign. As if she could even hear the "Bzzt!" as the electricity ran through the fluorescent lights, a Mcdonald’s restaurant lit up in the darkness, right in front of her eyes.
The entrance was lit by a warm, inviting yellow light, and since it was very far away, Lin Sanjiu couldn’t see the restaurant clearly, but she could clearly read the white on red "McDonald’s".
After drinking a month of nothing but coffee, Lin Sanjiu, the insomniac, didn’t think too much despite having an inkling that there was something wrong, she just stepped onto the next jutting rock and continued her way towards the bottom of the trench.
Her appetite which had been turned off by her diet of melted chocolate seemed to suddenly come alive, and her stomach began spamming hunger signals to her brain. As she climbed downward, she couldn’t help thinking about those tasty fried McWings.
Climbing down a few thousand meters down such a precipice was a strenuous activity even for a Posthuman. The blade of the knife that Lin Sanjiu used while she climbed was already bent out of shape. There were many wounds on her fingers, and to make matters worse, her hands were covered with salt, so the pain she was experiencing was immense. When she was near to the bottom, she was stumbling rather than climbing. Without her singlet, Lin Sanjiu realized that her whole body was covered with bruises and abrasions when she stood up once again.
Fortunately, she had reached the bottom of the trench.
The Mcdonald’s with its comforting lights, 200 meters away from her, was like a beautiful dream. Through the crystal clear glass doors, Lin Sanjiu could see the sparkling clean, red-tiled floor, the shining metal countertop, and the overly well-lit English menu board… A picture-perfect Big Mac, so large that one could not take a bite properly, was on an advertisement board. That thick beef patty, the vegetables, the cheese… It was like a beguiling siren.
Lin Sanjiu walked toward it in a daze. She stepped on the soft lumpy wet sand, then stepped into the seawater with a splash.
[There is something wrong. There is really something wrong. How could there be a clean McDonald’s with working light here? But, what am I looking at?]
She did not need to slap herself because the pain from her multiple superficial wounds was enough proof that she was sober.
The glass door detected her approaching and immediately opened without a sound. The fragrant smell of food instantly invaded her, and Lin Sanjiu stepped into the McDonald’s as if sleep-walking. Then, the glass door closed behind her.
Lin Sanjiu looked around, feeling bewildered. There was no one in the restaurant, but the delicious smell of food continued drifting towards her. Lin Sanjiu pulled out her mouthpart weapon and started walking toward the counter cautiously.
From where she was, she couldn’t see anything. The deep fryer for the fries was empty. Lin Sanjiu found her disappointment rather humorous — how could there be food in a restaurant in the middle of the deep sea?
However, she couldn’t control herself from walking around the counter and heading to the back kitchen. She was nearly there when she heard a sudden rumbling sound. It seemed to come from the very back of the kitchen.
Lin Sanjiu stopped and turning her ear toward the sound, trying to listen for it once again, but she heard nothing. The situation was too strange, she felt that she wasn’t thinking clearly and that it wasn’t wise to act rashly at that moment, so she hesitated and did not walk into the kitchen. Instead, she climbed up the counter, stretched her arm and stuck her [Teru Teru Bozu Defense System] on the ceiling.
Once she hung it up, a loud, sharp screech pierced through the air. The Teru Teru Bozu was spinning in circles rapidly, unable to pinpoint the exact direction of the danger. It was spinning so fast that it was almost just a blur. Shocked, Lin Sanjiu’s mind immediately became much clearer. She grabbed the doll, jumped down the counter and ran for the door.
The glass door did not budge.
"What the hell is happening?"
The glass door, which appeared fragile, did not show a single crack even after Lin Sanjiu struck it quite a few time with her maximum strength. She looked around hurriedly, trying to find a window but realized that there were no windows in this McDonald’s. Unfortunately, the Teru Teru Bozu seemed to be distraught, it continued its sharp, crying screech even after Lin Sanjiu had taken it down, making Lin Sanjiu even more anxious.
Water started gushing through the red tiles on the floor, and the floor became sticky and slippery. The lights started flickering, and then there was darkness all around her. Lin Sanjiu couldn’t see much, and the scariest thing was that the floor was slowly beginning to slant. The floor quickly reached a very steep slant as if someone had lifted the restaurant and tipped it to its side, as if eager for Lin Sanjiu to slide down into the back kitchen.
The floor began to tilt even more, and Lin Sanjiu fell on the floor. She tried to grip on to the floor, attempting to stop herself from slipping downward, but it was useless. She could only feel a slippery moisture and nothing else.
As if sensing that her body was slipping downward, the counter disappeared without a trace, creating a clear path toward the back kitchen. Lin Sanjiu didn’t want to entertain the thought of what was inside.
Just as she was struggling insanely not to slip further, the restaurant suddenly stopped.
The floor vibrated violently for a while before it slowly laid flat again. Even though it was too dark to see anything, Lin Sanjiu felt a gust of wind with the smell of seawater coming from the direction of the door;the door was probably open. The unforeseen event ended as fast as it began. Lin Sanjiu laid on the floor, still stunned. Suddenly, some sort of fishy liquid gushed out from the back of the restaurant and washed her out of the door involuntarily.
"Splosh." She was thrown into the seawater outside.
Lin Sanjiu struggled to stand up. There wasn’t a single glimmer of light around her so she couldn’t tell what had just happened. The silence surrounding her made it seem as though entering that weird McDonald’s was just a dream.
[It’ll be great if there was some light.] This thought surfaced in her mind, and she suddenly remembered something. She quickly took out a card, and a silvery light appeared in her hand. A wide area around her was instantly illuminated. The thing in her hand was the [Ability Polishing Agent] she had taken from Ren Nan’s corpse.
Under the shimmering, silver light, she stared at the thing before her eyes, stupefied. She couldn’t say a word.
It was a gigantic fish.
The fish was staring at her with a pair of white eyes without pupils. Its mouth, the size of a train carriage, was half opened revealing its set of dense, uneven, jagged teeth. Only half the fish was above the surface of the water, and blood was spouting from its dark colored skin. Like countless little water fountains, the fish’s blood poured into the seawater beneath it.
The magnet of her attention was the long appendage on its lower jaw which looked like a fluorescent tube.
"Lin Sanjiu? Did you kill this Deep-sea Dragonfish?"
Lin Sanjiu suddenly heard a voice in the darkness, coming from behind the large fish head.