Night's Nomenclature - Chapter 3: A Broken World
To worship a God right before a time of emergency was almost like seeking a random doctor after being infected by a disease.
However, Qing Chen felt that the supernatural phenomenon on his arm should be taken care of by supernatural beings.
At the very least, paying respects to a God at this time would at least not do him any harm to Qing Chen.
He liked to do everything possible ahead of time, leaving no chance for him to regret things he hadn’t done in the past.
The time was 9:30 in the evening.
Sitting on the bed, Qing Chen glanced down at his phone. There wasn’t much light in the bedroom, and the only Wechat1Popular Chinese messaging app messages he got were a few irrelevant texts from his deskmate, Nan Gengchen. Other than that, there wasn’t anything else.
Staring at his mother Zhang Wanfang’s WeChat icon with no notifications from it, Qing Chen was a little disappointed.
Of course, it only lasted for a moment.
He didn’t know what he was expecting.
In fact, he couldn’t even blame his mother.
His dad sold many properties that his family used to own so that he could get more money to gamble. He beat her and cheated on her. In Qing Chen’s eyes, there was nothing wrong with his mother leaving the family.
He saw with his own eyes how his father used to hit his mother. He was happy for his mother when they divorced.
Because it was the right decision.
The night before his parents’ divorce, his grandmother even tried persuading his mother not to. She said how his mother was already having a teenager to take care of, who else would be willing to marry her?
After hearing all of this, Qing Chen chose to live with his father.
He remembered his parents’ look of astonishment on their faces, Qing Chen knew that this was also the right choice.
Now that his mother has started a new life and formed a happy family, Qing Chen might be a little jealous, but he would do his best not to disturb their life.
Qing Chen suddenly thought of a problem. What if this is the last two hours and a half of my life? What should I do?
This question was serious and romantic at the same time.
Became he was asking himself what was the one thing he wanted to do the most in his life that he had not yet dared to do？
The love that he had not confessed? The people that he had not met? The place that he had not been to? The word that he had not said? It could be anything.
This question touched his heart.
Qing Chen got up and put on his coat. With not much time left on the clock, he chose to leave his house once again.
He pushed his broken bicycle out of his house and biked to the destination he had in mind.
It was a late autumn night, and the weather was getting a little chilly. There weren’t many people on the road this late in the night.
Riding the bike, Qing Chen looked calm. His coat was being blown backward by the wind on the bridge.
He did have a lot of regrets in his life and many things he had not dared to do.
But tonight, he didn’t need any hesitation or fear. He only needed courage.
At a certain moment, Qing Chen was thinking, if he really was going to die tonight, then he should finish the most important mission on his mind. There wasn’t much more time left for him.
He first went to the Peony Hotel, then to the Luo City Grand Hotel, then to the Luo Yin Residential Area, but none of these places he found what he was looking for.
Qing Chen rode his bike through an alley, across the little bridge, and arrived at an apartment building.
Finally, he saw the familiar second-hand motorcycle parked in the parking lot and heard the sound of mahjong playing from the second floor…
Then, he took out his phone and called the police, “Hello, I want to report illegal gambling at Room 201, Unit 2, Building 17, Longteng Community, Luojiang District.”2Gambling of any form is illegal in mainland China.
The police officer on the other end of the phone didn’t speak for a second. It took him a while before replying, “Alright, we will arrange a team to go there right now.”
Hearing an affirmative reply, Qing Chen felt accomplished. He turned his bike around and headed home.
He finally did it.
When he got home, Qing Chen glanced at the white numbers on his arm: Countdown 1:02:21.
He began to check over his preparations again.
Wait, do I really want to face the potential danger at home, all by myself?
Qing Chen had watched a horror movie in which the protagonist bumped into something, and as a result, a ghost would find him at midnight every day.
The protagonist tried to run away from the ghost, but it didn’t matter where he was in the mountains or the forests, the ghost would always find him.
When he was watching the film, Qing Chen thought, why doesn’t the protagonist just go to a crowded place?
Although ghosts were scary, if there was a huge crowd, at least one would feel more secure.
For example, the protagonist could easily go to a nightclub to stay. When the ghost greets him at midnight, there will be hundreds of people in the nightclub shaking their heads and dancing to the music. No matter how you look at it, the ghost would be the one that would be scared out of its mind…
Now Qing Chen began to wonder if he should be at a place with more people as well.
Or, perhaps he should go to the White Horse Temple… There are plenty of Bodhisattvas there.
That seemed safer.
In the end, Qing Chen still chose to stay at home. He felt that, compared to demons and ghosts, zombies would more likely appear after the countdown ended.
If a zombie apocalypse appeared, going to a crowded place would be no different than seeking death. Also, Bodhisattva didn’t seem to have the duty to deal with zombies either.
Qing Chen felt well prepared at home. If a zombie attack really would happen, at least he could hide inside the house and survive using the supplies he bought until rescue comes.
In the last half an hour, Qing Chen turned on the lamp and quietly wrote a will.
If he died, maybe someday his friends and family would still be able to see the last words he wanted to say.
If he didn’t die, then he must be extremely fortunate.
After writing his will. Qing Chen sat up, holding the knife tightly in his right hand. His eyes narrowed.
As the final countdown came, he was even calmer than before.
It was like a tsunami stopped at the moment before it was about to engulf an isolated island. The only thing left in his brain was courage and wits!
No ghosts, no zombies, no disasters.
Qing Chen quietly watched as the time around him fell into a static state, and the clock on his phone seemed to be pausing at 12:00:00 forever.
The second hand of the clock hanging on the wall suddenly stopped ticking, and the light outside the window no longer flickered.
He stood up. Suddenly the frozen time seemed to be shattered by his minimal movement, and the world shattered in front of his eyes like a mirror.
With the still knife clutched in his hands, Qing Chen looked around carefully. His desk was gone; the room was gone. Only darkness was left.
Immediately afterward, he too fell into the darkness.
He lost track of how long he was stuck in such a state. It seemed like an eternity, but at the same time, it seemed just like a second.
In the darkness, the fragments of the world began to piece together again. Out of nowhere, a completely new world appeared.
Qing Chen was lying on a narrow rigid bed in a completely unfamiliar environment. He had never been here before.
He first looked at his palm, there was nothing there. The knife he was holding had long disappeared.
He then looked at his arm and suddenly found that the white lines on the arm had changed.
“Return Countdown 48:00:00.”
48 hours, 2 days, Qing Chen thought.
The next moment, the countdown ticked: 47:59:59.
Translated by: Summit
Edited by: UnderTheMoon, Tempest
- 1Popular Chinese messaging app
- 2Gambling of any form is illegal in mainland China.
- 3God of Wisdom
- 4God of the Hell Realm; helps people reincarnate after death.