Night's Nomenclature - Chapter 4: There's More Than One
Return Countdown 47:59:58.
Return Countdown 47:59:57.
So, it seems that the countdown had led him to another time and space, then the return countdown must refer to the time he had left before going back.
Qing Chen left out a sigh of relief. He considered this as good news. Now he knew he had a way to still get back.
Although there may not be anyone who would care that he was back…
His mom had a new family look after, and his dad… was probably in a detention center already.
But even so, he still wanted to go back and take a look.
And what he decided to do right now was to live the next 48 hours to the fullest.
So… now began the first day before the return countdown.
Qing Chen began to re-examine the “new world” he was dropped into.
When the world was pieced together, Qing Chen saw that he was changed into a prison uniform and somewhat guessed his current situation.
He was in a dark gray room surrounded by three fully sealed walls and a sturdy metal alloy cell door.
The 90 cm wide door had a small window on it, but it was closed.
It was a single-person cell. There was only one bed covered with a thin layer of linen.
Beside the bed was a shelf. Except for a quilt, a toothbrush, and a towel, there was nothing else on the shelf.
The walls of the cell were gray, but for some reason, Qing Chen couldn’t understand, the gray wall was emitting a soft metallic glow.
Even the wall is made out of metal?
Qing Chen sat up and stroked the wall in confusion. Why would this kind of expensive construction material be used here? He thought.
Obviously, this place did not belong to the world he used to be in.
He quickly looked down at his palm. The fingerprints on these fingers were the same as they used to be, and even the positions of the pores on his hand were exactly the same.
He could confirm from his memory that this was his original body.
After being transmigrated into this world, Qing Chen’s knife disappeared, and his clothes were changed, but his body was not altered.
Fingerprints and pore positions could not be faked.
Qing Chen sat on the bed with his hands wrapped around his knees. He looked at the heavy alloy door, trying to think of anything, but nothing came to mind.
Slowly, he began to hear sounds from outside, they were the voices and sounds of someone slamming their alloy prison door.
Qing Chen slowly walked to the door, trying to listen to what they were screaming about, but before he could hear anything clearly, the door made the sound of pressure releasing, and opened.
He looked outside.
It was a long corridor.
There were seven floors in this square prison fortress, each floor was densely packed with prison cells.
In the empty and vast prison, only a few lights were turned on. The people behind the heavy doors that were slowly opening were like beasts that were trapped.
Standing next to the door, Qing Chen felt that if he took this first step, he would be walking into an unknown realm.
Around the vast prison, a nice female voice was broadcasted, “It’s seven o’clock in the morning, time for breakfast. All prisoners must line up in front of their cells and head toward the cafeteria.”
The voice echoed in the prison fortress, and Qing Chen was still looking blankly at the threshold in front of him.
It was as if he stepped beyond it, everything would be different.
In fact, he felt that he had been different since a certain moment already.
When did it start?
Probably… when he thought that there were only two and a half hours left in his life when he did what he always wanted but never dared.
He reported his own dad to the police, what else could he fear?1In Chinese culture, betraying one’s parents is just about as morally incorrect as betraying one’s country. People who commit such crimes are extremely looked down upon, which is why Qing Chen didn’t dare to do so at first. Anyway, his dad is still nothing more than a heartless scum and deserves to be punished. QC made the right decision!
He stepped out of the cell.
But the next moment he was stunned again.
He saw that there was a prisoner outside of every cell standing on the narrow corridor outside.
Qing Chen’s squinted his eyes.
An old man hunched his back and looked toward him. Qing Chen saw that the person had a red gleaming mechanical eye, and his entire right eye socket was made from a mechanical structure, all the way to where his temple was.
The mechanical eye didn’t look delicate, but rather quite rough. For some reason, Qing Chen could feel a strong sense of oppression from the pair of eyes staring at him.
It seemed to him that the person was analyzing every detail of him.
Just like how he used to analyze the details in his memory.
A muscular middle-aged prisoner’s right arm was made entirely of machinery. As the person moved his fingers, Qing Chen could even hear the clinging sounds of the mechanical parts from the palm opening and closing.
The sturdy metal arm was made like steel muscles, tough and violent.
Looking around, he noticed that about half of the people here have mechanical limbs on them.
A mechanical civilization.
The words popped into Qing Chen’s mind.
Before he could continue thinking, he saw the prisoner next to him smiling at him, “Hey there, newcomer, don’t eat too much for breakfast, or else it will look really bad when it comes out.”
As soon as he said so, a round of laughter came from all sides of the corridor, “I heard that there were twelve novice inmates that got moved in last night. I can finally entertain myself today.”
“This kid doesn’t have any mechanical limbs on him. It must be that he doesn’t have a strong background from the outside.”
When he heard the word “newcomer”, Qing Chen was shocked. At first, he thought that the others knew that he got transmigrated from the earth.
But soon he realized that the “newcomer” was referring to those who just entered this prison, and his true identity was still safe.
But Qing Chen frowned. The entertainment that the other person talked about must be a great disaster for him.
Now the problem was how he could survive among these mechanical “beasts”?
As a normal second-year high school student, Qing Chen could only resist the restlessness and fear in his heart by acting as normal as possible.
Because he didn’t know what the consequences would be if others knew that he was from another world.
Suddenly, a teenager in the corridor on the fourth floor opposite his side went crazy, “What in the world is this place?! I want to go home! I don’t want to stay here! How are you? I’m Huang Jixian, and my father is the CEO of the Yongli Corporation. Leave me alone!”
While screaming, the boy rand wildly along the corridor.
The others didn’t move, they just stood in place and watched as if they were watching a live show.
Some people were puzzled, “What is this kid talking about?”
Suddenly, Qing Chen heard a buzzing sound above his head. He looked up and saw that on the ceiling, four boxes-like drones detached from the walls and started descending.
Qing Chen’s gaze stayed on the ceiling. He saw that other than the drones, ten six-barrel machine gun turrets were neatly “embedded”.
As the panicked boy ran, the muzzles of nine of the machine guns were also turning!
“Please stop running,” said a female voice emitted the drone, “Warning, please stop running.”
Immediately afterward, another female voice was broadcasted throughout the prison, “All inmates on stand by.”
In less than ten seconds, the four drones cornered the boy attempting to escape in the corridor, all the weapons on the drones pinpointed directly on his body.
At the same time, a gate opened below the prison fortress, and nine robots holding unknown firearms were also approaching at full speed.
The boy collapsed against the wall in fear, while Qing Chen could only watch as a bystander.
The other boy’s behavior was a bit extreme, but it helped Qing Chen understand a lot about this world.
Machine guns, drones, robots, mechanical limbs, countless pieces of information all merged into his brain at the same time.
But what surprised Qing Chen most was that after seeing this boy’s abnormal behavior, he realized that he probably was not the only person that got transmigrated into this world from the earth.
He was not the first and certainly not the last.
Translated by: Summit
Edited by: UnderTheMoon
- 1In Chinese culture, betraying one’s parents is just about as morally incorrect as betraying one’s country. People who commit such crimes are extremely looked down upon, which is why Qing Chen didn’t dare to do so at first. Anyway, his dad is still nothing more than a heartless scum and deserves to be punished. QC made the right decision!