Doomsday Wonderland - Chapter 15
Chapter 15: Kong Yun
Translator: Pluto Editor: Tehrn
Almost as soon as they heard the sound, the three of them jumped up.
Without even half a second, Lin Sanjiu turned her palm and was holding the chef's knife as she asked sternly, ’’Who's that?’’
Her cold tone of her voice resonated in the darkness.
’’Ah... don't be nervous. It's me. I am Kong Yun from downstairs,’’ there was a reply from the dark corridor in front of the nanny's room. Kong Yun sounded a little tired yet quite seemingly gratified. ’’That's great. So you guys have flashlights,’’ she said and walked toward them even without an invitation to enter the apartment.
The three of them immediately realized what Kong Yun was talking about and silently cursed about it. The Ability Polishing Agent was really too bright, so much so that Kong Yun could see the light that it emitted even from the emergency door. At this point, they could hear Kong Yun's slow footsteps approaching. In a moment of anxiety, Marcie kicked the Ability Polishing Agent toward the sofa. Just before the little bottle hit the sofa, it disappeared into countless fragments of light and integrated itself into the sofa. The living room suddenly became dark.
’’Huh? Why did you switch off the flashlight? I can't see anything...’’ Kong Yun commented sounding rather dissatisfied.
Lin Sanjiu frowned her brow slightly. She had a sudden inspiration and quickly replied, ’’That was my mobile phone. It just ran out of battery... Big Sister Kong, didn't we ask you to wait for us in your apartment? Why did you come up?’’ After a pause, she surfaced her doubts, ’’So, how did you know that I lived here?’’
Taking this opportunity while they talked, she placed her hand on the leg of the corpse. There was a brief white light, and the floor became empty.
Just as she squished the card into her hand, Kong Yun made her way to the living room, groping in the dark. The very moment she stepped into the living room, Luther lit up his lighter. Under the orange-red glow, Kong Yun looked somewhat pathetic: her face and body were covered in sweat, and her strands of hair were pasted to her forehead. Feeling their gaze, she gave Lin Sanjiu an embarrassed chuckle. ’’The security guard told me once that you and your boyfriend were the owners of the top floor. Your apartment is situated way too high, I feel very tired after climbing up from the 26th floor...’’
Even though she had already evolved, that was not something surprising. Without the strength enhancement, not everyone had as good a physique as Lin Sanjiu. Just after Lin Sanjiu placed the knife down, and with her heart still pinning to look at the paper on the floor, she forced a smile, ’’Big Sister Kong, why did you come up?’’
’’Nothing really.’’ Kong Yun looked a little hard-pressed. ’’I was alone in my apartment, and my husband is still missing. I just felt frightened...’’
This wasn't something incomprehensible. The three of the looked at each other, and Luther suddenly gave Kong Yun a grin, showing his set of white teeth, ’’Big Sister Kong, it's great that you are here. It saved us the trouble of going downstairs to get you. You see, we brought some rice here so that we could cook a bit of porridge... Do you want to eat some?’’
Lin Sanjiu clapped silently in her heart that was a brilliant excuse! Otherwise, the scene of them standing randomly in the middle of the living room did felt rather unnatural.
Kong Yun was visibly distracted as she looked at the sack of rice, then she began to laugh, ’’Why not? Even though that rice is not suitable to make porridge, but that's a good idea. You all should rest, let me cook.’’
’’Okay, let me help.’’ Marcie carried the sack of rice and headed to the kitchen.
Kong Yun could not help being curious about Marcie. She quickly followed behind her asking, ’’Your Mandarin is really good, where are you from?’’
After seeing the two of them chatting, entering the kitchen, starting to make preparation for cooking the porridge, Luther finally handed a hard piece of something calmly to Lin Sanjiu. It turned out that he managed to retrieve the paper on the ground at some time.
’’So, this is...’’ Lin Sanjiu was just about to say something when the young man interrupted her.
’’Let's discuss this when we go back.’’
’’Go back? You mean you are not planning to bring her to the supermarket?’’ Lin Sanjiu reacted quickly.
He seemed to have said that instinctively, without thinking much about it. Hearing her words, he frowned showing a conflicted look. Indeed, not bringing Kong Yun and leaving her, a recently evolved, almost powerless person outside seemed rather unkind. On the other hand, since they did not share any life-and-death situation with her, they could not trust her, so it did not seem appropriate to bring her back to the supermarket either.
’’Let's observe first. Maybe, she has her own plans, so we don't have to help her make that decision,’’ Lin Sanjiu comforted Luther after seeing his somewhat hilarious scrunched up face.
Kong Yun probably cooked often at home. The lack of light did not hinder her nimble movement she diced the vacuum-packed salt water chicken, added some seasoning and boiled them with the porridge for half an hour. Soon, the air was filled with a fragrant aroma.
Not having eaten a normal meal in more than a year, Luther's mouth quickly filled up with saliva.
’’Come, it is ready!’’
After placing the pot of porridge on the dining table, Marcie searched for a few sets of utensils and scooped out four bowls of porridge.
The porridge from the pot was steaming, the snow white rice shimmered as they reflected the light from the lighter. The few of them blew on their porridge and prodded it with their spoons. At long last, they could start eating, they impatiently scooped up a spoonful of porridge.
Even though the porridge was hot, it wasn't uncomfortable for them to eat it a pleasant warmth filled their stomachs as the sweet salty aftertaste of the chicken porridge remained on their tongues. Counting the time that had passed, Lin Sanjiu had actually eaten a more delicious salmon just 24 hours before. But somehow, this meal of chicken porridge she was having, after her world was destroyed, tasted like something a lifetime ago.
Marcie ate a mouthful of porridge and asked Kong Yun coolly, ’’How did you pass the time alone yesterday?’’
As Luther wanted to eat, he had set aside his lighter before that. Since it was dark, they could not see Kong Yun's actual expression clearly. They only heard her saying, rather wistfully, ’’After waking up last night, I kept searching for my husband. Calls were not going through, and the security guards have all fainted. I went out, drove for a couple of rounds and met many people just wandering and stumbling around the streets like mad men. It scared me, so I immediately went home. I bore with it until morning when it was really too hot, so I hid in my washroom and fell asleep... I don't even know how's my husband right now.’’
’’Well... Did you discover anything about yourself that was different than before?’’ Lin Sanjiu could not resist asking.
’’Ahh, ah? Different than before... I didn't. What are your referring to?’’ Kong Yun seemed astonished as she knocked her spoon against her bowl.
[Maybe, her Active Skills have not been developed.] Lin Sanjiu thought it through. If they were to explain to her about New Worlds, Posthumans and that sort of thing, it would be more convincing after Kong Yun developed Active Skills. Consequently, she smiled, ’’It's nothing. It is a long story, we will tell you some other time. Anyway, what plans do you have later?’’
Kong Yun immediately replied without a shred of hesitation, ’’I will go back home to wait for my husband, I will wait for him until he returns. If he comes back and doesn't see me, he will be anxious. That's right, let's eat a little faster. I want to show you my husband's photo later. If you meet him outside, please remember to tell him to go home to look for me...’’
From her words, she did not seem aware that if she waited on, without food and water, she would only die in the end. Perhaps, it wasn't that she was unaware, but rather because she was willing to take the risk even if there will only a thin thread of hope.
The atmosphere at the dining table suddenly became heavy. After quite awhile, Lin Sanjiu finally said, ’’Okay, if you are running low on food. We will bring some up for you.’’
She did not want to shatter the woman's only pillar of support so quickly. Losing one's hope was akin to the cruel climate outside, it was similarly fatal to a person. Kong Yun thanked her gratefully. They finished the small pot of porridge very quickly. After Kong Yun's explanation, the three of them gathered their things and followed her downstairs.
There were two households on each subsequent floor after the penthouse. As the other apartment on the 26th floor had always been empty, Kong Yun left her door unlocked when she left. It simply opened when she just gave it a push.
When the three of them entered her apartment, they were suddenly stunned.
At that moment, the apartment which was elegantly decorated was very bright. There were many stylish candelabra all over the large and small surfaces in the room such as the dining table, coffee table, and flower stand. Each of the candelabra held several cream-colored candles. The lights from the orange flames and a faint fragrance flooded the entire living room. It was like as beautiful as a dreamscape and was scorchingly hot like a nightmare.
Surrounded by the candlelight, Kong Yun smiled bashfully as tears welled up in her eyes. ’’My husband bought these candles for our wedding anniversary. When I came home that day, the apartment was filled with candles. He even cooked for me...’’ her voice was caught in her throat. She gathered her hair and searched for a few photo frames as if nothing had happened.
’’After the anniversary, he wanted to throw away the candles. I vehemently disagreed. And look, now it came handy.’’ Kong Yun sniffled as she tearfully passed Lin Sanjiu a photo.
The man in the photo was average-looking;his smile was very gentle, and his teeth were white. ’’Ah!’’ Lin Sanjiu exclaimed before she said, ’’I have the impression that I met your husband before, just once downstairs.’’
Lin Sanjiu explained that she remembered him because, at that time, there was an extremely furious woman over the line with him. The woman screamed about something continuously and was so loud that she could be heard even over the phone.
After Lin Sanjiu had said this, Kong Yun's tears poured down uncontrollably. ’’We had a quarrel that day... I really regret it... If I knew that we will part, I would never shout at him. He is a such a gentle person...’’
Marcie tapped lightly on Kong Yun's shoulder and sighed. Luther sat silently on a chair, just like any men, he did not know what to do when it comes to crying women. After saying a few comforting words to Kong Yun, Lin Sanjiu stood up, and her eyes swept the apartment aimlessly. Suddenly, she frowned feeling a little suspicious. Looking carefully, there was something weird about the apartment.
The water dispenser in the living room was empty, but there was a full bottle of water right beside it. It was as if the owner did not find it necessary to refill the water dispenser. The owner might not be thirsty, yet the fish tank was empty. There were only a layer of ornamental rocks and a dry, tiny treasure chest in it. When she walked over, there was still a strong fishy smell. The weirdest thing were the potted plants in the apartment, or rather, just pots filled with soil that should have plants in them. The plants were all missing, and there were holes in the soil where they once were, she could even see a few strands of roots... A sudden flash of thought ran through her mind.
’’I'll get a drink for you. Do you have any drinks in your fridge?’’ Lin Sanjiu hurried to the fridge before she asked Kong Yun abruptly. Before she even received a reply, she pulled opened the fridge door.
The fridge compartments were almost empty, there were only a few plastic wraps scattered about those which were used in supermarkets to wrap vegetables, one even had the price tag on: Premium Organic carrots, $14.98. At the left compartment of the fridge, there was a neat row of drinks. Lin Sanjiu was certain from one look, the drinks have never been touched by anyone.
Only at that moment did she hear Kong Yun's slightly anxious voice coming from behind her, ’’No, it's okay. I am not thirsty. Thank you.’’ Lin Sanjiu closed the fridge door and turned to look at the hand that Marcie had placed on Kong Yun. She felt like there was a heavy rock in the pit of her stomach.