Doomsday Wonderland - Chapter 61
Chapter 61: I still can't bear to leave
Translator: Pluto Editor: Tehrn
Under the flood of white light from the searchlight, Oasis was vastly different from the past nights. Tension hung in the air. Other than the few important teams who had to fulfill their usual duties, most of the other members grouped themselves in twos and threes, sharing a single flashlight. They were all searching for traces of the two traitors.
It has already been seven hours since the duoluozhongs appeared, but they still didn't find Lin Sanjiu and Marcie. Whether it was the canteen, the main hall, or the water treatment room... wherever there was a loudspeaker, people could hear the ongoing broadcast.
At that moment, a trembling female voice could be heard over the loudspeakers: ’’As an operational administrator, I quickly followed them when I sensed that something was amiss... But, I never guess that they could be so crazy! They actually colluded with the duoluozhongs and brought them here to kill us...’’
It was Xiao Yu's voice.
After she finished what she had to say as an eyewitness, the imposing but emotionless male voice rang out again: ’’If Xiao Yu did not notify us in time today, the number of casualties would have definitely been more than 210. We sheltered them out of kindness, yet they betrayed us. They must be punished for their foolish act!’’
Despite knowing that the loudspeakers could not pick up their response, many people raised their arms and shouted heatedly.
’’Sentence them to death!’’
’’We have to avenge the deaths of those people!’’
Oasis was instantly filled with wave after wave of irrational fury from its members.
A loud, recognizable voice joined the outcry of the people in the electrical maintenance team, and his voice merged with the crowd until it was indiscernible. After Hu Changzai shouted similar chants together with his colleagues, he put down his arm and looked around guiltily. He sighed relieved that no one had noticed him.
His ability did not work on audio and tv broadcasts so he could not tell if Xiao Yu was lying. However, perhaps due to his biased toward her because she had saved his life, he couldn't convince himself that Lin Sanjiu would collude with duoluozhongs to harm the people in Oasis. Unfortunately, it was obvious that he had to keep this opinion to himself especially in front of the irate crowd.
’’Our work for today is almost done!’’ the team leader of the electrical maintenance team shouted suddenly, raising his arm, ’’Next, we must search every inch of Oasis and find those two traitors!’’
His team members roared in agreement;they were so loud that the roof vibrated a little. The team leader brought out a box which was filled with flashlights and batteries. His team members queued up to collect their flashlights, but the team leader closed the box when it came to Hu Changzai's turn.
’’I remember... You know that woman with the bandages!’’ The man gave Hu Changzai a sidelong glance. Hu Changzai felt that the multiple penetrating glares from behind him could almost pierce through his shirt.
’’I, I didn't know that she was this sort of person...’’ He never told a lie in his life, his face turned red, ’’If I had known... ’’
The team leader eyed Hu Changzai but refrained from saying another word because Hu Changzai was usually very compliant. He pushed the box away and looked at the people standing behind Hu Changzai. His eyes swept through the group, and he spotted a man with middle-parted hair stepping forward, ’’Team Leader, I will go with him.’’
It was the suitor who gave Fang Dan that card.
Hu Changzai turned to look at that man. Even if Hu Changzai was just an honest man, he knew that the fact that he was the only one in the team who needed a partner meant something. He forced himself to smile at his colleague and said softly, ’’Okay, okay. Let's go.’’
Without another word, the team leader handed the flashlight to Li Shi the name of the man with the middle-parted hair. Then, Li Shi walked out of the door with Hu Changzai walking silently beside him like a criminal trying to atone for his wrongdoings. After they walked around for a while, they only saw some zealous people from other search teams like theirs;they did not even catch a glimpse of Lin Sanjiu or Marcie.
All the possible exits in Oasis were guarded by the five Executives and their people, so everyone in Oasis believed that those women will not be able to escape even if they wore mecha suits. This was supported by the fact that the Executives, including Chen Jinfeng, all possessed powerful combative skills.
Hu Changzai felt very conflicted, he did not bother talking to Li Shi. He did not believe that Lin Sanjiu brought those duoluozhongs, so he hoped that she would not be found. On the other hand, he wished he could see her immediately so he could ask her what had happened exactly. Both men walked silently for a few minutes. Unexpectedly, Li Shi suddenly laughed.
’’Actually, you're not the only one who knows them both. I know them too.’’
Hu Changzai gave him a wary look, but he did not know what Li Shi was trying to imply.
’’Don't you know about Fang Dan and me?’’ Li Shi turned to Hu Changzai and gave him an assuring smile, ’’That woman with bandages is Fang Dan's friend, so I met her once.’’ Hu Changzai stared at the man's eyes and instantly gave a sigh of relief. [That's right. This man is telling the truth.] Hu Changzai did not expect to meet someone in almost the same situation. He asked quickly, ’’So, you must know that Xiao Jiu will never do something like that. What should we do now?’’
’’Listen, I have an idea,’’ Li Shi said without a hint of nervousness. ’’Isn't Fang Dan with the well management team? You might think that there are many groups of people searching for the two women but not many people actually went to look around the area near the well management team.’’
Hu Changzai hesitated for a moment, thinking carefully. He quickly understood Li Shi's words. As the well management team is one of the teams that affects the everyday operations of Oasis, the team members were on duty even that day just like Li Shi and himself just now. Ironically, this was the precise reason why the members of the search team paid less attention to places bustling with activity. Similarly, none of the search groups went to disturb the backup generator team when they were working for a few hours. Furthermore, the well management team worked around the clock...
With a high-strung heart, Hu Changzai followed Li Shi to visit the well management team's work area with fear and expectation. When they reach the courtyard where the well was, it was surprisingly quiet. There wasn't even a single person.
The searchlight that was above the well had been switched off and turned aside. The place was only illuminated by the few small light bulbs on the wall. Their tools were neatly placed aside in a pile. The well that was dug was rather unsophisticated and laid under layers and layers of thermal insulation material. Using their single flashlight, the two men search the area without speaking. They looked in every possible hiding spot, but they found nothing.
After getting no response when he softly called their names a few times, Hu Changzai went to touch a nearby bucket. He could feel a little bit of moisture right at the bottom of the bucket. That meant that the water management team was on duty, but just like their team, they ended their duty early.
[From what it seems, Xiao Jiu isn't here.] Hu Changzai could not hide his disappointment, he sighed inwardly. Li Shi was also visibly discouraged by their futile search. He shot Hu Changzai a glance. As he walked away from the work area with Hu Changzai, he sighed, ’’What thoughts do you have about where they might possibly choose to hide? As friends, we must find them first. We can't let them get captured by other people in Oasis.’’
Light reflected off Hu Changzai's spectacles. He was a little startled. He was just about to speak when he heard a soft ’’creak’’ behind him. Due to the silence, both men heard that sound clearly. They wouldn't have heard it if the broadcast was still ongoing, but it already stopped some time ago. Li Shi immediately turned to look behind, he pointed the flashlight at the ground not far from them.
The dim yellow spot of light circled the courtyard urgently...
The well's heavy cover suddenly moved, it was pushed upward a few times before it finally slid to the ground. A pale white hand came out from the side of the well, then another hand appeared, and a figure gradually rose from the well...
Long black hair hung over the woman's head, totally covering her face. Her white clothes were totally drenched. She left a trail of water behind her as she crawled outward. Li Shi could feel himself trembling, his face turned sheet-white when he saw that Sadako-like figure. Oddly, his eyes lit up at the same time. His guess was right, that person was really hiding here! His voice was in his throat when he was suddenly struck violently from behind. Li Shi fell to the ground instantly.
Hu Changzai held a metal bucket in his hand while he panted heavily. He used too much strength. Blood slowly seeped out from the back of Li Shi's head. Hu Changzai used his finger and anxiously checked for Li Shi's breathing. Finding that it was still stable, Hu Changzai's body slackened.
The ’’Sadako’’ hesitated for a moment, she pulled her hair to the back of her head, revealing Fang Dan's face. ’’So, you're not alone? Why did you come here with him?’’
Hu Changzai looked at Fan Dang, smiling drily, ’’Let's drop that subject. If this guy didn't utter a sentence which I could recognize as a lie, all of you would have been captured. Anyway, how did things end up like this? Where is Xiao Jiu and Marcie? The entire Oasis is searching for all of you!’’
’’I know, that's why we went to hide. If we didn't hear your voice, we wouldn't know when we could come out.’’ Fang Dan wiped away the water from her face and shouted toward the well, ’’Come up! It's really him.’’
Another two drenched ’’Sadako’’ quickly came out from the well. One of them had a head of red hair. As Hu Changzai was very conservative, he wished he could just remove his own eyes and hide them in his pockets. He lowered his head not daring to look at the women. With a flustered red face, he listened to Fang Dan's explanation: ’’These two idiots thought that they could hide in the air-conditioning units. With that high temperature, if they were to crouch there the entire day, they would have gotten a heat stroke... Fortunately, I know a hiding place underground. Otherwise, people would have found them long ago.’’
The two other women glared at her. Finally, Marcie couldn't hold back herself, ’’Technically, the incident today was caused by you...’’ Fang Dan was unaffected by her words, her expression did not change even a bit.
Lin Sanjiu felt a slight headache, and she quickly changed the subject, ’’We heard the broadcast from inside the well. When we were hiding, we already discussed about the matter. We are sure that the duoluozhongs are reared in Oasis! To hide this fact, they prevent anyone from going out in the morning! We found out this secret, thus Oasis is hell-bent on killing us.’’
Hu Changzai was shocked he definitely could tell that it was true he whispered in alarm, ’’What? Why would they? We have to make this public!’’
’’How are we supposed to do that? If we show ourselves, we will be caught immediately. On top of that, we don't know the reason behind this. Who would even believe us?’’ Fang Dan said expressionlessly as she chewed on a piece of gum she pulled out from nowhere.
Lin Sanjiu paused stood still for a moment, before she suddenly said softly, ’’It is not impossible. We can make an announcement if we go to Professor Bai's office. If we want to find out why they are rearing duoluozhongs here, is there any better method than asking the top person in this place?’’
Everyone fell silent.
’’That's courting death,’’ Fang Dan murmured after some time. ’’We can just leave.’’
Lin Sanjiu looked at her own hands. She clenched her own fists so tightly that her knuckles were turning white.
’’Frankly speaking, I'm unwilling to just leave like that,’’ Lin Sanjiu said coldly, ’’Even though I don't know why they would rear those duoluozhongs, they are definitely up to no good. The over 1000 Oasis members are all innocent lives. Yet, they are all so infuriating. Why should I just leave? I want to smash the truth in their faces and make my point.’’
The group looked at each other. Marcie was the first to agree with a nod, ’’I agree! I also need to settle the score with Chen Jinfeng.’’
’’I don't really have a strong opinion on this. But it sounds fun. I'll join,’’ Fang Dan added.
Hu Changzai did not waver, he said softly, ’’I will help all of you. Professor Bai lives in that building. There is an Executive nearby. He is called Hai Tianqing. Listen up...’’
They all knew that they had no time to lose, while they discussed their plan they left the well management team's work area cautiously. A few minutes after their figures disappeared into the darkness, a person rose from a patch of grass. It is not an easy thing to knock a person out Li Shi held his wound and half ran, half stumbled out of the courtyard. When he came out, he nearly collided with another member of the search team. As the person looked at him in surprise, he shouted hoarsely, ’’Quickly inform the Executives! I found the traitors! They are heading toward Professor Bai's office!’’
TN:  Sadako from the horror movie, The Ring.