Doomsday Wonderland - Chapter 52
Chapter 52: Hu Changzai Identifies a Problem With Her Companion
Using the water that Fang Dan brought to her, Lin Sanjiu managed to wash off the sand on her body. There was so much sand that the pile on the ground now covered her feet entirely. When her skin was finally moist and clean again, Fang Dan, who had been helping her fetch water, exclaimed in surprise seeing the choker on Lin Sanjiu's neck, ’’Oh, when did you wear that? It's beautiful.’’
After she had washed the sand off her Pygmalion Choker, it looked even more resplendent than before. Now Lin Sanjiu knew why no one commented about her choker before this. Previously, she was covered in sweat, so her entire body was encased in sand. Almost no one could tell the color of her hair let alone the choker on her neck. After she bathed and wore a fresh set of clothes, Lin Sanjiu let down her hair and tried to use it to cover her choker awkwardly.
Moments before, Fang Dan had mentioned to her that Hu Changzai was receiving treatment in the infirmary. From what Chen Jinfeng had said, it was possible that Marcie could be there as well... With that in mind, Lin Sanjiu pushed open the door to the infirmary. When she entered the room, a young man with a well-bandaged leg was lying in the small bed of the room. ’’Are you the only one here?’’
’’Do you have to sound so disappointed?’’ Hu Changzai sat up and wore his spectacles, feeling a little peeved. ’’Are you looking for the nurse? She just went out.’’
’’No, I'm looking for Marcie. It's so weird, I just can't find her anywhere,’’ Lin Sanjiu replied as she searched around the room. She quickly found a roll of bandages in a cabinet and asked, ’’How's your wound?’’
’’It doesn't hurt so much now. Oasis is quite big so it isn't unusual that you can't find her.’’ Hu Changzai answered casually. ’’Oh, I want to tell you another thing...’’ He suddenly paused mid-way in his sentence when he looked up.
Lin Sanjiu's jet-black hair flowed over her shoulders like water, her pair of amber cat-like eyes shone brightly. She actually had a very feminine appearance but when he saw the snow white bandage around her neck, it suddenly gave her a cool, intense vibe. Even though she did not possess a conventional beauty, she did have her own... charismatic allure.
’’Hey, if I do this, you can't see my choker, right?’’ Lin Sanjiu patted the bandage on her neck. ’’Why are you looking at me like that? What do you want to say?’’
’’Uh, uh, well!’’ Hu Changzai tried to calm down his thumping heart as he said slightly flustered, ’’Actually, my 'Lie Detection' ability went up one level...’’
Lin Sanjiu eyes glowed, and just as she was about to congratulate him, she suddenly heard a voice saying: ’’So you're here! Xiao Jiu!’’ The door swung open revealing Septimus's face. He was just about to say more when he realized that Hu Changzai was also in the room, so he immediately withdrew the words he wanted to say.
Without suspecting anything, Lin Sanjiu smiled and asked, ’’What's up?’’
Septimus held his expression for a second as the necessity to speak honestly weighed on him like a rock. He thought for a while, then he smiled, ’’It's almost morning, so let's go for breakfast together later.’’
Hu Changzai grabbed a glass of water and swallowed his medicine, indifferently.
It was obvious that such mundane words will not raise any alarm.
’’Okay. Oh, do you know where Marcie is?’’
Septimus's heart skipped a beat. He certainly knew where Marcie was. When he was running for his life, he strayed too far from Marcie... If Marcie disappeared because she was too far from Luther, then obviously, Luther had to activate his Persona Separation ability again before Marcie will reappear. Septimus was fully aware of this, but he wished that he could just forget that fact at that very moment.
That was because excuses like: ’’I don't know.’’, ’’Maybe, someone called her away to do something.’’, or even ’’Perhaps, she will just pop up later.’’ would definitely be judged as a lie. It meant that he had to either skip the question or just tell the truth! Hu Changzai finished the water in his glass with one gulp and also started to look at Septimus.
Before he figured out the Lin Sanjiu's new ability, he knew that he had to avoid Lin Sanjiu's suspicion. Septimus quickly scanned Lin Sanjiu and immediately exclaimed in an anxious manner, ’’Was your neck injured?’’
’’Ah, that, actually...’’
Septimus managed to successfully distract Lin Sanjiu. Before she could explain, Septimus sighed and interrupted her, ’’How could you be so careless? Alright, you should rest first. Don't bother yourself with anything else. I will call you when it's time for breakfast.’’ He did not want to waste time showing concern for that woman now, he knew it was critical for him to leave as soon as possible. ’’Anything else’’ would mean looking for Marcie to Lin Sanjiu. Whereas, it would not be considered a lie from Hu Changzai's perspective. Septimus hid his relief and celebrated his quick thinking inwardly as he quickly left the infirmary.
’’He lied to you.’’
’’Huh?’’ Lin Sanjiu was stunned, ’’What do you mean?’’
’’I don't mean the conversation just now.’’ Hu Changzai explained as he gave his head a scratch, ’’After my 'Lie Detection' leveled up, it has two new attributes. Now, I can tell if someone had lied to another person and the identity of the person being lied to in the past 24 hours. So...’’
Now, Lin Sanjiu understood his words, but it was difficult for her to accept this. She crossed his arms and thought for a long time before she mumbled, ’’He avoided my question about Marcie, just now. That's a little odd. Could it be that he lied to me about this? But that doesn't make sense. We didn't even talk much since we came back...’’
[Could he have lied even before the mission? Or during the mission? But Marcie was us before the mission so we wouldn't have discussed about her. When did he lie to me?] Lin Sanjiu was feeling increasingly perplexed by the matter. She just could not wrap her head around it.
After Hu Changzai got those words off his chest, his mood lightened significantly. Not caring that Lin Sanjiu was now confounded, he planted his head back on the bed, ’’You can take your time to think slowly. This patient needs to rest now.’’ He was indeed feeling very tired after being tortured by his injured leg and dragging it around for such a long time.
Preoccupied, Lin Sanjiu replied, ’’Okay, you should rest first. I need to go to Chen Jinfeng's office to get something...’’ Since Septimus knew where she had hidden her Diary Card, she was a little bugged by that. Anyway, it had already been two hours or so since she planted her card there.
’’Be careful. Since I am not around with you, I can't help you discern the truth,’’ Hu Changzai advised before he closed his eyes comfortably. Unexpectedly, Lin Sanjiu froze for a moment and suddenly gripped Hu Changzai's arm tightly, ’’Hey, I have a question. Can you tell if someone is lying without using your ability?’’
Her question was quite confusing and really came out from nowhere. As he looked into her pair of amber eyes at close proximity, he stammered, ’’Of course... not. I can only discern whether a person is telling the truth because I'm using my ability... what do you mean...’’
At that instant, Lin Sanjiu realized what Septimus's lie was. She thought for some time while Hu Changzai skin grew very hot. ’’Hey... You are too close. A girl like you shouldn't ’’
She gave his arm a heavy slap and shouted, ’’Thank you!’’ before she shot out of the door.