Just as if someone had added water to her memories and made some porridge with them, her memories were like a cloudy broth. She could only remember herself lying asleep in her own bed as it gradually became warmer and warmer. She became more and more thirsty… Suddenly, she felt a gentle concern from the man beside her. She grabbed his hand and whispered, "I'm thirsty..."
She suddenly opened her eyes. For a split second, Lin Sanjiu thought that she saw that snow white face again. She exhaled and propped herself up. She shook her head and looked at the surroundings around her with that faint bit of light.
The fancy supermarket, where she occasionally went to get some imported snacks to try, was now dead. It was dark, quiet, and in a mess.
A skinny white caucasian woman had buried her face in her own thick red hair and was sleeping soundly. The fair, handsome young man that was lying beside Marcie opened his eyes a little when he heard Lin Sanjiu's movements.
"You're awake?" Luther, who had just awoken, asked indistinctively. He looked at the clock that hung on the supermarket wall. "Oh! It is already past 6 pm."
Marcie was woken up by both their voices. She rubbed her eyes tiredly and sat up.
"No wonder I feel hungry…" Lin Sanjiu could hear the sound of her digestive juice from her stomach. She drank a mouthful of water and muttered, "That little, dried corpse is finally quiet." Indeed, the area where the staff room was had became quiet. The shelves were still blocking the door, and it was as if there had never been a w.a.n.g Sisi. Luther replied, "I will bring some food over." With this, he got up, dragged his feet and yawn a few times as he walked to the food section. He came back with a few vacuum-packed food like duck feets and chicken drumsticks
After they had woken up, they found that the previously tense, uneasy atmosphere before they slept was almost gone. The three of them sat relaxingly in a circle, eating and chatting at the same time.
"I'd say, you don't look like someone who has been on a battlefield," Lin Sanjiu made fun of Luther lightheartedly; she managed to find a packet of her favorite b.u.t.ter cookies.
Hearing this, Marcie snorted, "Don't bring this up. When we joined the army, I had to train every day. He had it good. Using his ability to transform, he lived quite comfortably…"
"Really, tell me about it!" Lin Sanjiu laughed and continued asking.
He heard the two of them gossiping, but Luther's mouth was stuffed with food so he simply could not explain himself. He anxiously gulped down a few mouthfuls of water hoping to swallow the food down and nearly choked himself… Suddenly, the rare sounds of laughter rang out in the supermarket. The few of them laughed and joked, and for a moment it seemed like the New World was not that scary after all.
When she heard the laughter, w.a.n.g Sisi was p.i.s.sed. She rammed the door and let out a sharp shriek.
The three of them slept in the morning with that screaming in the background, so they were already accustomed to her existence. They did not even stop to blink but continued eating calmly. Surrounding by the ear-piercing background noise made by w.a.n.g Sisi, Luther tutted, "It would be great if we could have some fried vegetables and rice!"
This reminded Lin Sanjiu, she clapped her hands together suddenly, "Aren't we going to my apartment to search for Ren Nan's corpse? There is a gas stove in the apartment, it should still work. Let's bring some rice over. I'm not sure if we are able to fried vegetables but making some pork porridge shouldn't be a problem."
Once she made that suggestion, the two others started to salivate. Luther was the first one to jump up. He pulled Marcie along with him enthusiastically, running around the supermarket. They gathered all the ingredients within a few minutes: Thai rice, mineral water, and vacuum-packed meat...
Disappointingly, they were unable to find a single torchlight in the entire supermarket. The three of them had to compromise by each carrying a lighter for illumination.
After they had rested for a few hours, they figured that it should already be totally dark outside. They carried their items and left the supermarket. Just to be prepared, they even locked the shutters before they left. They climbed up the escalator and found that the sun had already gone down. The hall on the first floor was pitch-dark and without a sign of life.
Unexpectedly, due to the shopping mall's unique structure, the heat from the sun was locked within the building. Without the usual cool air from the air-conditioners, the entire first-floor hall was now like a large high-temperature steamer.
The uncomfortable heat was extremely invasive. The three of them were covered in sweat within seconds. Adding to that was the faint stench from the heap of dead bodies which were exposed to the heat. Lin Sanjiu rushed out of the shopping mall not wanting to stay on the first floor a second longer, only then did she felt a light breeze on her skin.
They had to think of a method to get rid of the dead bodies quickly.
The long queue of cars, which Luther and herself traversed through in the morning, was still in front of the shopping mall. The only thing different from the morning scene was that half the cars had run out of batteries or gas, becoming silent and lifeless. Occasionally, they saw a few cars with running engines, still struggling on the brink.
The queue of cars was like a dead snake, lying motionlessly under the heat.
Lin Sanjiu led the group and routed past the road. She did not take a single look into any of the cars—she had seen enough dead people. The residential district that she once lived in with Ren Nan was not far from the shopping mall. They took over ten minutes and finally reached the bottom floor of that 38-floor condominium.
Ever since the heat wave came with everyone unprepared, 70% to 80% of the entire human population had been wiped out within a day. Consequently, the overloaded power grid was never repaired. Right now, the three of them had to depend on their legs to climb up the flight of stairs up to the 38th floor.
Being the only male, Luther had no choice but to step up and carry the heavier items like the rice and the bottles of water. He followed behind the two ladies, panting as he climbed up the stairs.
Even though they were so-called "Posthumans", climbing up 25 floors of stairs was still a little unbearable for them. With her normal, unenhanced physique, Sanjiu was the first one to sit down on the steps. She kept waving her hands saying, "I can't go on, I can't go on. Let's take a rest… Let me catch my breath and drink some water."
Marcie scanned the surrounding cautiously with the lighter in her hand. Seeing that there was nothing unusual, she pa.s.sed a bottle of juice to the two exhausted people who were sitting on the steps.
As the refres.h.i.+ngly sweet taste of blueberry juice flowed through his throat, Luther was about to praise the taste of the drink; suddenly, they heard a click from the door on the 26th floor, it opened...
"Is there anyone around? Hubby, is that you?" A trembling woman's voice, filled with fear, called out. It did not even take them one second before the three of them already jumped up together, fully alert. The lesson they had learned from w.a.n.g Sisi was still vivid in their minds. At that instant, without saying anything else, Marcie demanded directly, "Stop where you are! Who are you?"
The 26th floor woman apparently didn't expect that there were really people in the stairways and uttered a yelp. After that, still sounding nervous, she said, "I… I live here… I came out to look for my husband. Who are you?"
The three of them looked at each other. Lin Sanjiu gave it some thought and raised her voice, "I am also a resident here. Can you walk slowly to the stairs and show us your face?"
"Ahh… What's that for?" the woman asked but followed her directions and walked out to the stairs. The three of them lifted their heads and looked upward following the light coming from Marcie's lighter.
Under that orange glow, they saw a normal, clean woman's face near the handrails of the stairs. She was about over thirty plus years old and was wearing scarlet red pajamas. Her facial features were quite elegant, but her eyes were puffy. She was also visibly terrified. When she saw Lin Sanjiu, the woman finally gave a sigh of relief, "Ah, it's you. I've seen you downstairs before!"
Lin Sanjiu did not have any impression of the lady. Since she was not a duoluozhong, the three of them lowered their guard and headed upstairs.
Seeing Lin Sanjiu's familiar face, the woman became friendly and hurriedly said, "You might not have noticed me before, but I have met you a couple of times. You go for strolls with your boyfriend frequently. He is tall and very handsome, right?" After she had said this, she looked at the only male, Luther and then at Marcie. She was evidently quite perplexed but did not ask any questions. She only introduced herself saying, "My surname is Kong, I'm Kong Yun. Have you seen my husband?"
Lin Sanjiu almost couldn't remember when was the last time she saw a normal, living person. She did not want to say a single word regarding Ren Nan. Just as she was about to reply, Luther suddenly quipped, "Big Sister Kong, what does your husband look like? Wasn't he at home with you?"
These words caused Kong Yun's tears to suddenly spill from her eyes, "Last night, we slept at the same time. But there was suddenly a blackout, and I woke up because it was hot. When I had turned to look at my side, my husband was gone… only his pajamas was left on the bed. I am sure he went out, but I don't know where he is… I didn't dare go out in the morning…"
Probably because she had not met another living person for such a long time, it seemed as if she had the intention to pour out all her emotions, "I mean, how did the b.l.o.o.d.y weather turn so scary? I went downstairs to look for the security guards, but they were all lying on the ground. I don't know if they were all unconscious or dead. I was so… so scared..."
Lin Sanjiu listened to her and nodded in a comforting manner. Suddenly, she felt a tugged at the corner of her s.h.i.+rt. She turned and found that Marcie was giving her a look.
Just as Marcie whispered in Lin Sanjiu ears, Luther stepped forward at the same time, as if he had eyes in the back of his head. He blocked the view of Marcie whispering and prevented Kong Yun for realizing that there was something weird going on.
"Our purpose here is to get to Ren Nan's body. Don't let her follow us. We don't need any more trouble," Marcie whispered.
That was true, observing Kong Yun, it would cause a lot of unnecessary trouble if she spotted the corpse. Lin Sanjiu nodded and said to Kong Yun, "Big Sister Kong, I want to head upstairs to get some clothes. How about this? You should go back to your apartment to rest, we will look for you again when we head downstairs. Let's see what we can do later, okay?"
Having a familiar face was quite certainly useful, Kong Yun immediately agreed.
"That's right, do you need something to rehydrate yourself?" Lin Sanjiu glanced at her dried lips and reached for that remaining half bottle of juice.
"Uh, I… I... I don't..." Kong Yun suddenly stopped mid-sentence. She fumbled with her words for a while glancing around furtively. "Uh, I meant… Thanks, I will drink a little. Thank you!"
Not only her two of her companions who have been in battlefields but even if Lin Sanjiu who had experienced two brushes with death, were extremely sensitive—seeing that weird reaction from Kong Yun, the three of them could not help staring hard at her.