77 Thanks for the Cigarette
The girl with black hair slowly showed up. She just looked at Su Bai coldly and indifferently. Now, she was no longer calm and mischievous. Instead, she became a little hysterical, like an ugly girl who became angry, ashamed and stunned after her heavy makeup was suddenly washed off.
"Yes, I’ve underestimated you—not you, but the Sophia woman. If she didn’t tangle with me, costing me so much energy, you would never make it here."
A creepy smile appeared on the girl’s face.
"But none of them can leave here alive."
Su Bai shook his head and thought: We had never made such an extravagant wish that all of us could leave alive. After all, it was a story world for a group task. As long as he himself could survive, who’d care about others?
The purple aura was all over Su Bai, but it couldn’t send him away. They were in a stalemate.
"What?" Su Bai looked at the girl. "Afraid to reset me again?"
The fundamental principle of this story was merely to reset the time. There were 20 participants in total and each time, three of them could be reset; but every time, this girl with black hair would take up one position, which meant that she cut three people down to only two. Thus, the story became much easier, and numerous pressure would be saved by reducing only one person.
However, Su Bai managed a perfect timing. The girl with black hair and the two western men had entered the river, and then he stepped in just in time. It was like a door; Su Bai had stretched out his hand to it before it closed, or even squeezed in half of his body, but the owner of the door was afraid to let him in.
Once Su Bai was in, the girl with black hair would definitely lose her chance because she was not a human being but an embodiment of this river. Of course, she could pretend to be an audience and slip through, but when another genuine audience entered this purple aura with them, he would take up the position without a doubt, while the counterfeit would lose hers.
In a word, Su Bai had pushed the girl out of the game by simply standing here.
The purple aura couldn’t send Su Bai away because once everything was reset, the girl herself would become one of the reset objects. The river had created this game but now, it would lose its control over this game.
More than just a Sophia, more than just a Su Bai; among the 20 audiences, someone would notice the problem of this story, then another one…Without the girl trying to fix everything, the story game wouldn’t last long.
"Next, there won’t be a reset. I wonder how many of you can survive." The girl’s eyes turned red. Clearly, she wasn’t going to give up and let things drift.
"In fact, I’m impressed by your efforts."
Su Bai looked at the river. Even till now, he still had no idea about the relationship between the story world and the Dreadful Radio; but facing the Dreadful Radio as an audience, he was so weak and powerless. However, this river was actually challenging the Dreadful Radio. The ending was doomed to be tragic, but it was also heroic.
At last, the purple aura increased dramatically and Su Bai vanished from where he was.
Everything was reset…
…For the last time!
Opening his eyes, Su Bai was a little surprised. He was not standing by the road, but sitting by the fireplace in the cabin. In front of him, a western girl was sitting there: it was Sophia.
Just then, Sophia opened her eyes and looked at Su Bai.
"Hi," Su Bai said. In the meantime, he sat straight to show some respect.
"You don’t have to thank me. I was planning to tell Jack but every time, we’d just miss each other by inches…Besides, to some extent, Jack was not as good as you were. That was why I chose to tell you."
Su Bai didn’t care. He looked around; it was rather dirty, and there was no beer or sausages.
"Why are we here ahead of everyone else?" Su Bai asked. Judging by the surroundings, apparently, Fatty and Ego had not arrived at this cabin yet.
"This is the last reset, so all the memories from earlier resets are coming back to everyone. How many people did we kill in all those resets? How much hatred and rage will we get?"
Sophia stood up and walked to the window.
"This story is going to end. The Dreadful Radio will certainly create a highlight, a bloody exciting highlight, to make it more enjoyable. If we’re put among other audiences, everyone will start killing each other immediately, then it’s gonna take all the fun out of it. He won’t like that."
"So…everything is still under the control of the Dreadful Radio? This river was just a clown to make the story more interesting?"
"I respect this river," Sophia pointed to the river by the cabin, "and it was honorable."
Su Bai nodded and walked to Sophia. "By the way, did you find the source?"
"You’ve figured it out, didn’t you?" Sophia looked at him.
"So what are we gonna do? Go find him?"
"First of all, we’ll have to leave this forest alive."
Just as Sophia said that, fierce roars and growls came from under the river as turbulent tides. Next, the dead people which used to walk at the bottom of the river started to madly climb ashore and run toward here—They had only one simple target: the cabin and the two people in it.
Su Bai held the azure staff in his hand and waved it like a baseball bat.
"You’re gonna use that as a bat?" Sophia couldn’t help the twitching of her lips, as if she had seen an idiot carrying swill in a Cayenne.
Su Bai didn’t answer that because, under such circumstances, the staff was nothing more than a bat in his hand. His vampire blood was greatly defective and was now neither fish nor fowl; as a result, he couldn’t exchange for any vampire magic. So for the moment, a bat was all he could get.
"Alright, let’s go."
Sophia put both hands into her pocket, but two vines instantly grew out from the window and knocked off the first walking dead in the front.
And the rotten wall of the cabin also broke into pieces. Sophia walked out.
Su Bai held the staff, waved among the walking dead and smashed seven or eight heads.
"By the way, there’s something good under the cabin. There are two more staves like this one," Su Bai reminded Sophia.
"We’re running out of time. This is our last chance, so every second counts. Besides, do you know how to work that magical matrix?"
"Just FYI," Su Bai said while smashing another head.
"After this story, go to London and find me. I’ll take this staff and I’ll offer you something satisfying in exchange."
"Deal," Su Bai answered quickly.
Su Bai and Sophia kept going while fighting against the walking dead. However, to Su Bai’s surprise, numerous zombies only appeared at the beginning and there were fewer and fewer zombies after a while. Even after a long walk, they couldn’t find any zombies at all.
What was more, there were a lot of creatures more horrible than zombies, but none of them got into their way.
But Su Bai had seen many dead corpses of audiences. Some of them were mummified with all their blood dried up, some of them were still smiling after their souls were taken out, some of them were cut into two at the waist, and some of them were poisoned and their bodies turned green.
They all died a tragic death, and there seemed to have been a good fight. Apparently, unlike Su Bai and Sophia, the other audiences had run into violent attacks which involved more than just zombies.
Then Su Bai saw Ego. He was hung on a tree; his underbelly was cut and his guts were all over the place. Around him, there were obvious traces of a fight.
There were more and more dead people, but less and less interception for Su Bai and Sophia.
Finally, Su Bai and Sophia left the forest and came to the convenience store.
Sophia took a deep breath and started to adjust herself to the best state. In her opinion, she would be facing the most severe task. All the calmness before that was the foreshadowing for the stormy final fight.
However, Su Bai just took out a pack of cigarette from his pocket and walked forward.
Sophia gazed. "What are you doing?"
"Did you say you respected it?" Su Bai asked. "To offer the respected a cigarette, that’s a tradition of all Chinese."
Su Bai just casually pushed the door open.
The black shop owner was still standing at the counter with his eyes on the TV screen.
Seeing Su Bai, he said nothing and just continued watching TV.
Su Bai threw a cigarette towards him. He took it and put it into his mouth, but his eyes never left the TV.
So, Su Bai lit his own cigarette first and then walked to the owner with the lighter. The owner leaned aside to light the cigarette in his mouth as the lighter provided a flame. Afterward, he breathed in and let out a smoke ring as if he was letting out a long sigh of relief.
"Bro, what’s on TV? You look all-possessed." Su Bai approached him and stood by his side.
Just then, Sophia opened the door and walked in with nervousness and doubts. Seeing that Su Bai and the black shop owner was standing there watching TV while smoking like best buddies, she couldn’t help but bite her lips because she couldn’t understand what was going on.
The black owner smoked one more time before he finally answered Su Bai.
"A variety show."
It was indeed a variety show; Su Bai had noticed it. But on the screen, it was the scenes of audiences dying tragically one by one, playing over and over.
"Even I would like to meet those best performers." The black owner grinned. With the contrast of his dark skin, his teeth seemed to be extremely bright. "In the end, thank you for your respect.
And of course, …
thank you for the cigarette."
The owner said, flicking his cigarette.
At last, Dreadful Radio’s voice came into the few remaining audiences’ minds including Su Bai and Sophia.
"Main Task accomplished. Survivors, return to the real world…"