Doomsday Wonderland Chapter 540
After walking in the desert for an entire day, Lin Sanjiu had to admit, begrudgingly, that she was lost.
That thought barely surfaced in her mind when she suddenly felt her whole body going weak. Without any strength to continue, her legs buckled. Thud. She fell on the ground and sat. She could feel the heat from the sun-baked sand through her pants and on her skin. At first, it was mildly warm and comfortable, but it gradually grew unpleasantly hot.
After catching her breath and gulping down a mouthful of mineral water, Lin Sanjiu surveyed her surroundings once again. She did that despite the futility of her action because she had surveyed her surroundings multiple times throughout the day.
Two days ago, she escaped from the mountains along with Bohemia. They reached this stretch of the desert not long after they escaped. Logically, the mountains shouldn't be too far away. At least, they should still be within sight. She should see the vague outlines of mountains at the edge of the flat desert. However, the topology in Salvation of God didn't make sense.
Based on her memory, she walked toward where she lost contact with her grand prize for half day. Unfortunately, all she could see was just a vast landscape of yellow sand. There wasn't even a mountain in sight. In fact, Lin Sanjiu wouldn't even be surprised if she stepped into a sea the next moment.
She couldn't find Ji Shanqing, but there was a silver lining: she didn't see Gods around either.
"There is only sand in the desert and nothing else. Since Inhumans can't be raised in this environment, there are naturally no Gods because there are no people to carve idols. Ji Shanqing is smart so he might have figured this out and hid in the desert as well, right?" Lin Sanjiu contemplated for a moment and felt that it was plausible. After resting for a while in the same spot, she felt that she had regained some strength. She stood up again and chose a random direction to forge ahead.
The sand in the air seemed to be able to suck all the moisture from a person's body. Even after Lin Sanjiu guzzled bottle after bottle of water, she could not get rid of the dry, parched itch in her throat. Her skin was buffeted by the sand, drenched in sweat and felt several pounds heavier than it should. The longer she walked, the more she couldn't shrug off the feeling that she would feel so much better if she could crawl out from her skin.
After an afternoon of intermittent walking and resting, Lin Sanjiu was exhausted and weary when she trudged past a sand dune, half-heartedly. At that moment, the sun was setting in the west. The foggy sky was getting dark. Under the weak evening sunlight peeking through the dusky sky, Lin Sanjiu looked up and was slightly startled.
There was a white brick house at the bottom of the sand dune.
The surface of the house was flat and smooth. Its paint looked new and there wasn't any sign of it ever being damaged by a sandstorm. The house seemed to be a row of rooms joined together. It didn't seem like a residential house. In fact, the house had no particular architecture style. Even calling it a public toilet wouldn't be too far-fetched.
Fixing her gaze on the brick house, Lin Sanjiu remained in the same spot. She crouched and looked at the brick house from afar. She sighed.
"Why is there a brick house in this desert?"
Without walking closer, or giving it a second look, Lin Sanjiu could guess the answer with one cursory glance. This must be a pocket dimension.
"I don't have time for a pocket dimension right now," Lin Sanjiu thought to herself, dusted the sand off her body and stood up. Currently, she was more than a few hundred meters away from the brick house. If she didn't want to enter, she could probably walk around it.
She stood up and before she even took her next step, she heard an unexpected voice calling her from behind, "Oh, are you a passer-by?"
"Damn it, I got 'caught' by this pocket dimension anyway." Lin Sanjiu cursed inward and turned around cautiously.
A gaunt old man wearing a grass hat stood at the entrance of the house. Somehow, he had gotten there without her even knowing. The old man was looking up at her. He was holding a palm-leaf fan in his skinny hand and was fanning himself.
"Miss, are you also a passer-by?" he asked again after noticing that Lin Sanjiu did not respond.
Lin Sanjiu didn't say anything. She nodded her head but took another two steps back.
"Come and take a look," the old man's voice invited her warmly with his hoarse voice as he pointed to the door with his fan. "Fate must have brought you here. Come on in. It'll be interesting, I promise. The ticket isn't even expensive."
Lin Sanjiu had seen quite a few pocket dimensions, but she had never seen one that would beg for a person to enter. Lin Sanjiu raised one of her brows in suspicion, "What...what is this place?"
The old man seemed like a tour guide to a crappy tourist spot. He sighed when he heard Lin Sanjiu, "There is a "Notorious Serial Killers simulation" inside this building. It's super fun, I promise! It has been a long time since someone appeared around here. It's too hard to gather enough people to run the simulation."
"That's right! Posthumans are either kidnapped or killed by Gods. I don't think they have the chance to even enter this pocket dimension." Lin Sanjiu shook her head at the man and started walking away.
"Hey! Hey! This simulation is super interesting and not dangerous at all. Plus, the ticket isn't expensive!" The old man ran out and stopped when he was a few meters away from the house. He didn't continue.
"A being from a Pocket dimension probably can't move too far from it."
"Please take pity on me. Just this time. Today, there are already three rare customers. I only lack one more player to start the simulation. If you don't join, they'll leave too…"
"There are three customers?" Lin Sanjiu reacted immediately and stopped walking. "What are the customers like?"
Noticing that Lin Sanjiu had stopped, the old man's eyes lit up. "The first few customers are all males. They aren't old. They seem to be in their twenties or thirties. Two of them came together, the other customer looks younger than them. He looks quite gentle…" he enthused.
Lin Sanjiu's heart raced. She couldn't help sweeping her gaze toward the brick house. She did this as if she could look through the walls and figure out if the person inside was Ji Shanqing. Her grand prize had a feminine look so people mistook him as both male and female. The old man could have also made a mistake.
After thinking for a while, she eventually sighed and walked down the sand dune.
Even though she knew that the possibility was slim, she had to go inside and take a look. The entrance and exit of the pocket dimension might be different so she might not even see the other customers when they were exiting.
"If that's the case, I'll go in and have a look," Lin Sanjiu grasped her [Battle Item] just to be safe, "You mentioned that you need a ticket?"
"Yes," the old man looked as if he couldn't believe his luck. He smiled profusely."But, it isn't expensive. It isn't expensive at all. It is almost free."
The brick house looked bland, it even seemed dull. Lin Sanjiu stood in front of its glass doors and asked warily, "What do you mean by it's not expensive?"
"You just have to give me an item that is white."
"That's intriguing,**" Lin Sanjiu took a white towel from her card deck. It just so happens that she had as many towels with her. "Will this do?"
"Yes, yes!" the old man took the towel. He took the initiative to push open the large glass doors and invited her in. The lights were not on. Amidst the shadowy darkness was a hall which was as monotonous as its exterior.
The hall wasn't big. There were several posters on the wall but it was too dark to see what was on them. There was a door with the word 'entrance' on it under a dim green light. The door stood silently at the end of the hall.
"Didn't you say that there were already three people here?"
"Yes, once you walk through the entrance, you will see the other three players," the old man suddenly spoke a lot faster as though he had repeated his introduction of the place many times, "This is a murder case simulation. It is very safe. This is based on true murder cases from all over the world. Once you enter, you and the other players will be randomly assigned a role in the murder case. You will never be assigned as the murderer. After all, you have to catch the murderer."
As Lin Sanjiu heard the man's explanation, she had already walked to the door with the word 'entrance'. She stopped and asked, "Must we catch the murderer to end the simulation?"
"No, no. If that is the case, wouldn't the simulation go on forever if you don't catch the murderer?" the old man treated the white towel with extreme care as he held it in his arms. "Actually, this is a simulation, you can do whatever you want inside. You could protect the victims, catch the murderer, look at the scenery, eat and relax… It's all fine. It's up to you."
"How can we end the simulation?"
"You will have to wait until the murderer gets caught or until the murderer stops committing his or her murders. Then, the simulation will end. The murder cases follow the same course as history. Even if all of you don't catch the murderer, it will not affect the simulation."
As he said that, the old man helped Lin Sanjiu open the door.
"You haven't told me what murder cases—"
Lin Sanjiu still had many questions she wanted to clarify so she held the door with one hand. However, when the door opened, a cool gust of wind assaulted her. It swept her through the door, grabbing her waist like a rope. Even with her strength, she couldn't resist the force. She staggered and stumbled through the door and into the dim surroundings.
Bump. She heard the sound of the door closing behind her. Lin Sanjiu steadied herself and looked around. She was stunned. There was a light drizzle and it made the bluish-gray morning quite foggy. There were shallow puddles of water on the uneven cobblestone streets. The puddles were filled with mud and dirt. In spite of the cold, wet weather, there was a faint lingering smell of sulfur in the air. Through the smog, one would see an occasional horse carriage passing through the narrow streets interspersed between various European-styled buildings.
Lin Sanjiu heard a splashing sound from a puddle not far from her. Three people approached her and stopped beside her. Lin Sanjiu turned her head immediately but was quickly overwhelmed by disappointment.
Out of three players, none of them was Ji Shanqing.
"Where… where is this place?" A tall lanky man looked around, slightly bewildered. The person standing beside that man looked very similar to him but was shorter by a head. He looked like a younger version of the first man. Both men had irregularly shaped faces like potatoes. They seemed to be brothers.
"This is London, 19th century."
Another young man standing beside them answered softly. The mild-looking young man immediately lowered his head the moment he noticed Lin Sanjiu's gaze.
"I guess this is 1888, to be precise… This is the era when Jack the Ripper was alive," the young man said with a softer voice.