97 Back to Reality
Above the entire Western District, pillars of light came raining down from the night sky, surrounding all of us. The howling wind was deafening, and I almost fell off my feet as cracks started appearing in the ground!
I turned back quickly to look at Nie Zun, who met my eyes. He held Jie Pa tightly as he tried to move towards me!
“Protect Jie Pa!” I shouted.
Damn it, my dress is flying up! (Passerby A: That’s because you love to wear dresses during fights…)
A blinding white light engulfed everything in front of my eyes, and a white fog enveloped my brain.
It felt as if I was being sucked into another dimension, and I started to lose my grasp on reality.
In the chaos, I heard Nie Zun’s voice. “Shen’er.”
But it was different this time, that voice was not able to bring me back. Just like this, I passed out in the ocean of fog.
“Beep beep beep–!”
“I heard that an online personality committed suicide yesterday.”
“Are you for real?”
“Hey, I’m ending the call, I’m going to be late. Hello, can you hear me?”
“Bloody hell, do you even know how to drive?!”
I heard people’s voices, and while still in a daze, I tried my best to wake myself up.
What met my eyes was the sight of a bustling street and a busy crowd, it was a boisterous scene.
My eyes and jaw widened slowly.
The sun was already above the high tower in the distance, and I am currently on a sidewalk.
“What, what’s all this…” I murmured, looking at everything around me in disbelief.
Buildings, roads, vehicles, pedestrians, the sky, the clouds, the sun!
This was the world before I died, this is reality!
I heard a grim but familiar voice from behind.
I turned and saw Gaoqin Jiuye frowning, he was looking at our surroundings and was as surprised as I was.
“You, you, you, how did you, this, this, just what exactly is happening?”
I wanted to use my hands to close my mouth to stop it from dropping any further.
Gaoqin Jiuye shot me an icy look. “How should I know. I just woke up here. Then you dropped beside me in a pillar of light.”
I looked around me again in shock. “This, this isn’t the Split Zone, this is the real world?”
Gaoqin Jiuye nodded. “Yes, I’ve ascertained that it’s not an illusion.”
Every time I am stunned, I stutter. “We, we, we, we are back in the real world?”
Gaoqin Jiuye smirked. “Yes, we are back in the form of spirits.”
I widened my eyes again. “In the form of spirits??”
Gaoqin Jiuye walked over to a woman on the sidewalk who was making a call, and said coldly, “Hey.”
Together with ‘hey’, he reached out to slap the woman.
But what shocked me more was that his hand passed through the woman’s face! No matter what he said to her, she never once looked at him!
“They, they, they, they can’t see us?” I continued stuttering.
Gaoqin Jiuye’s unfeeling brows crinkled to formed graceful arcs. “That’s right.”
“Just what is happening…” I almost collapsed to the ground.
“How would I know, you already asked this so many times.” Gaoqin Jiuye then casually stuck his hands into the pockets of his white track pants, not wanting to engage in further conversation with me.
“M, MF? Can we use MF here?” I hurriedly checked my weapons, both Piercer and my bow were still on me.
Gaoqin Jiuye tilted his head and smiled at me. His smile carried a tiny hint of savagery.
Before I could react, his gaze became as cold as steel!
The air currents beside him turned into two vortexes, and from those vortexes, air needles were hurtling towards me!
I could not dodge in time, and a few of those air needles pierced right through my shoulder!
A wave of pain started spreading from my shoulder, but he signalled for me to look behind before I could react further.
The air needles were not damaging, before my shoulder could bleed, it was already healing. I looked back in the direction indicated, and I heard the sound of air needles whooshing past my ear!
These air needles pierced through the eyes of a pedestrian!
I almost screamed, but I realised that these air needles were not able to harm the pedestrian. They simply continued on their trajectory!
This meant that we can still use our abilities, and it affects only us, while it has absolutely no effect on anyone in the real world!
“Seems like we are back here with our identities from the Split Zone. We don’t belong here in this world at all.”
I am not sure if I heard wrong, but when Gaoqin Jiuye spoke, it felt as if he was miserably laughing at himself.
“Is there any way to go back…” I murmured.
Gaoqin Jiuye shook his head calmly. “I don’t know, there probably is.”
“What should we do now? Have you seen any others?”
Gaoqin Jiuye suddenly smiled at me wickedly. “Haven’t seen them, and I don’t know what to do either. No one here can see us, and only we can see each other. Since it’s just you and me, how about we have a fight to pass time?”
What a lunatic!
I was left speechless.
I squatted and rested my face on my palms, looking around me dully.
This world, it is familiar yet foreign at the same time…
My eyes started to sting, and tears were about to fall. I wiped my eyes after a moment, and continued to look at the crowd and sights around me.
“Hey, stop being so gloomy. Since we’re already here, let’s not keep standing in the same place. Do you know this place?” Gaoqin Jiuye walked up to be beside me, and kicked me in the leg.
I looked up and rolled my eyes at him.
But, hey, it is true that this place is pretty familiar!
This seems like the street behind my university!
A sudden thought struck me, and I rushed to the magazine stand at the front of the sidewalk!
I wanted to pick up a newspaper, but my hand just passed through it! I quickly bent down to look at the date!
I was dumbstruck when I saw the date.
I started counting quickly in my head, while Gaoqin Jiuye ran over and asked, “What are you looking at?”
I slowly turned my head at him, saying, “It has only been 18 days since I arrived in the Split Zone…”
Gaoqin Jiuye frowned. “What does that mean?”
I held his gaze, as if confirming both our suspicions. “This means only 18 days had passed in the real world after I became comatose, while I have been in the Split Zone for a year and eight months now.”
Something flashed past Gaoqin Jiuye’s clear eyes and he pondered for a moment, before asking, “That means, a day in the Split Zone is equivalent to a minute here?”
Nodding, I said, “It converts like this, close to what I expected it to be. It’s not a coincidence that there are 60 hours each day in the Split Zone. There are 60 seconds per minute in the real world, so one second in the real world is equivalent to an hour in the Split Zone! And, an hour in the real world is equivalent to a day in the Split Zone!”
Gaoqin Jiuye’s eyes turned dark, but he did not speak.
I frowned slightly, unsure of the reason behind his silence.
“How long have you been in the Split Zone?” I asked carefully.
Something flashed past Gaoqin Jiuye’s eyes, something complex that I could not comprehend.
His gave a mysterious smile. “Very, very long.”
I was, unexpectedly, rather surprised by his answer.
“Since we’re here, let’s not waste time loitering aimlessly. How about you bring me to take a look at where you lived before?” Gaoqin Jiuye suddenly said in a casual tone.
Where I lived before…
I looked up and scanned the area carefully, making sure that it was the street behind my university. Has it been 18 days… 18 days after Gao Qi died…
My eyes started to well up with tears.
Where can we go? To the hospital to look at my unconscious self? To look at my parents’ sorrowful faces? Or to the university to look at my fellow students who bullied and ostracized me before I died?
Gaoqin Jiuye waved a hand in front of me. “Why, no place to go?”
His voice seemed enchanting, and it made me think of Gao Qi once again.
I then smiled at him. “There is, my university. It’s just nearby. I’ll bring you there?”
Gaoqin Jiuye shrugged. “Your call.”
With me in the lead, we walked along the big street like two homeless spirits.
“That’s the sun?” Gaoqin Jiuye pointed at the sky.
I frowned slightly. “Even if you have been in the Split Zone for a long time, you can’t forget the sun. Are you that retarded?”
Gaoqin Jiuye tilted his head, giving me an evil grin. “Retarded? That’s the first time someone called me that.”
I looked at him smiling with that mesmerizing face, and got slightly tongue-tied.
That face still makes me melt into a puddle of goo…
I stopped walking as I suddenly thought of someone else.
“What’s the matter?” Gaoqin Jiuye asked curiously.
I looked at him, asking, “How about Nie Zun? If Nie Zun cannot be more than 500 meters away from me, he should be nearby right?”
Gaoqin Jiuye shrugged. “No, he’s not here. When I arrived, I manipulated the air currents to have a sense of the environment. There is no one from the Split Zone within a 500-meter radius here.”
I thought as much, that there would be no one else here. If he was really within 500 meters of me, he would probably have already found me.
But, where did he go? Nothing changed since we arrived here, but has the fact that he cannot be more than 500 meters away from me changed?