IWOL Chapter 34: A Person In Exile

—- Volume 3: Doll’s House [Begins] —-

 

April 10, one day after the Blood Night had ended.

Dong Zheng and Dong Linhai took their tickets and went to the station in the novice area.

Similar to ancient railway stations in remote towns, the station’s layout was very simple. It consisted of several low-rise cabins that were built along both sides of the railway. The bars were raised high, and the green paint on the benches had mostly peeled off, revealing the original wood color underneath.

The ticket inspector was sleeping in the enforcement box. Dong Zheng knocked on the window. The ticket inspector raised his head, revealing only one huge eye on his pink face.

“We’re going to District XII.” Dong Zheng handed it the tickets.

The ticket inspector yawned, revealing four rows of serrated teeth. It heavily stamped Dong Zheng and Dong Linhai’s tickets and handed them back. “Stop sign No. 3. You can go up when the train comes.”

Dong Zheng thanked it politely and found stop sign No. 3 without much effort. The two stood by the sign, each carrying a non-bulging backpack with all their luggages inside.

Apart from them, there were no other passengers in the whole station, and it was empty and quiet.

Victor unzipped Dong Linhai’s bag and popped his head out. His ears shook. Dong Linhai gently pressed Victor back and whispered, “Uncle, bear with it for a little bit longer. If you’re found, there will be trouble.”

“I just wanted to take a breath.” Victor obediently retracted.

As a summing beast, he would have to be in a state of recall in order to enter the train and was supposedly not allowed to show himself throughout the whole journey. But, the problem was that Victor did not become Dong Linhai’s summoning beast through normal means. As a result, Dong Linhai didn’t know how to recall Victor.

Inside the prisoner’s space, Cui Zuojing could clearly see everything that Dong Zheng saw. He explained: [The station ticket inspectors are all personally selected by the queen, and each one has absolute authority. Don’t try to confront them. The novice area is fine, but in other areas, it’s not enough to just have a ticket. You must pass the ticket inspector’s test in order to be allowed to board the train.]

The two brothers only waited for less than five minutes when they heard the sound of a train entering the station. After a melodious whistle, the train slowly stopped in front of them.

The door opened, and Dong Zheng and Dong Linhai entered. Inside the train car, there was not a soul in sight so they found a random place to sit,

Once they were firmly seated, the doors slowly closed. Another whistle sounded, and the train began to move. Dong Zheng looked outside the window at the station that was gradually getting smaller and smaller. Finally, he turned his head to observe the car they were in.

Similar to how it was like in old trains, the car had two rows of seats facing each other, with a table in the center. The windows were pulled down, and each car was large enough to sit about a hundred people.

Dong Linhai was very excited. He sat across Dong Zheng and looked out the window. The train had maintained a steady speed as it moved across a bridge. From a distance, he could see the tube building where they’d lived.

Victor jumped out of the bag and stood on the table, attentively licking his hair to smooth them down.

Cui Zuojing appeared next to Dong Zheng and said, “The whole journey takes about four hours, During the middle, the train will pass through the gaps in time and space. When this happens, don’t look out casually. Close your eyes and rest.”

Half an hour later, the train moved out of the city border and entered a tunnel. The area outside the windows suddenly became dark. Only the inside of the car was lit by a fluorescent light, reflecting the people’s images on the windows.

Dong Zheng followed Cui Zuojing’s suggestion and closed his eyes to rest. Meanwhile, Dong Linhai lay directly on the row of chairs, covered himself with his jacket, and soon breathed smoothly as he slipped into a deep sleep.

Cui Zuojing held Victor in his arms.

This was…the seventh day after his return.

In these seven days, he’d found a helper that seemed to be reliable at present, and his strength was gradually recovering. Now, he was moving on to District XII.

It was a fairly good start.

When Dong Zheng woke up, the train had already stopped at the train station.

The soft Spring light streamed in through the window and sprinkled over Cui Zuojing’s hair and on Dong Linhai’s sleeping face that was resting on the table. Victor was curled up on Cui Zuojing’s lap.

Dong Zheng stood up and lightly patted Cui Zuojing’s shoulder. “It’s time to go. Linhai, don’t sleep.”

Dong Linhai was still sleepy and confused as he followed Dong Zheng and Cui Zuojing off the train. The moment they walked out, the door closed behind them, and the train immediately moved on to the next destination.

The train station in District XII was much more official than the Novice District, and there were many people coming and going. Cui Zuojing led the team through the corridor and pointed out the worker’s window on the side to Dong Zheng. “Go and apply for accommodation first. Remember to pick a good place.”

Dong Linhai left with Dong Zheng, while Cui Zuojing held Victor and waited.

“Mr. Cui Zuojing.”

Hearing someone suddenly calling his name, Cui Zuojing was stunned. In the entire Pure White Realm, there were very few people who knew his real name.

He raised his head and saw a golden birdcage hanging the street sign above him. A bird with beautiful, feathery plumes was perched on the bar, and its small, bead-like eyes stared at him. It said in a crisp voice, “Mr. Cui Zuojing, this is you, right? I have a letter here for you.”

“It’s me.” Cui Zuojing asked, “Who is the sender?”

“Signed as Silver Fox. Do you want to receive it?”

Hearing this name, Cui Zuojing sucked in a breath. The originally lazy Victor immediately widened his amber eyes, the pupils dilated. He abruptly jumped to Cui Zuojing’s shoulder.

My God. Cui Zuojing suppressed the excitement in his heart and said, “Receive it.”

The bird picked up the letter from the corner of the cage and pushed it out from between the gaps. Cui Zuojing caught the white envelope that flew down, used a playing card to slice the lacquer that sealed it, and poured out a key.

“Great.” Cui Zuojing threw the envelope in the trash can and smiled at Victor.

On the other side, Dong Zheng was applying for a house for three people, not forgetting to include Allen.

When he came back, he asked Cui Zuojing, “Is everything done? Is there anything else I need to do? I already sent a message to Allen, and he said he’ll be here in about half an hour.”

“No, let’s wait for Allen.” Cui Zuojing opened his hand and showed him the key. He couldn’t help saying, “We just received good news. And if we’re lucky, we won’t even need to apply for a place to stay.”

The style of the key was quite ordinary and looked like it would match with the five-dollar locks in the market. Dong Zheng didn’t understand and asked, “Why?”

“You’ll find out later.”

Dong Zheng no longer asked. Three people and one cat waited for a little over 20 minutes in the station lounge when they finally heard a whistle sounded from the tracks on the side. After a while, a dazzling red appeared between the crowds.

Dong Linhai stood up and called to Allen King, who was looking around. “Over here!”

Allen walked quickly, his face full of joy. The moment he got near enough, he released his hand bag, allowing it to fall to the ground, and gave the three people a very warm hug. Rubbing Victor’s back, he said excitedly, “It’s great, everyone is here.”

“Okay, now that everyone is here, follow me.” Cui Zuojing had long been eager to give the key a try, and he couldn’t wait any longer. He quickly led them through the hallway to the staff rest area with a sign that said “Visitors Not Permitted.”

Allen said, “Eh? What are you doing?”

Dong Linhai shrugged. “I don’t know.”

Cui Zuojing stood in front of the closed door, clearly showing that the key in his hand didn’t match the lock on the door.

Dong Linhai exclaimed, “Wait, can this door be opened?”

His voice hadn’t yet fallen when the shape of the key changed right in front of their eyes and was smoothly inserted into the lock.

Dong Linhai: =口=!

Cui Zuojing turned the door knob and gestured to everyone standing by the side. Behind the door was a deep darkness.

“Go in.”

Allen said, “Hold on. Little brother, are you sure we should enter this place?”

Dong Linhai agreed. “Yeah, it doesn’t look like a good place—Ahhhh!”

Dong Linhai was kicked through the door, and his figure instantly disappeared into the darkness. After Cui Zuojing withdrew his foot, he grabbed the squealing Allen’s rear collar and threw him in.

He clapped his hands, turned his head to look at Dong Zheng, raised his eyebrows, as if asking if he should let him do it or if he would go in voluntarily?

Dong Zheng sighed and took the initiative to enter the door.

Cui Zuojing and Victor followed closely through the door.

The door to the staff rest area was pushed open in the next moment, and a staff member in janitorial clothes yawned as he looked out but found nothing strange.

“Ahhh—!”

Dong Linhai fell out of the door. He was unable to control his momentum and ended up landing on his knees. The teen braced the ground with both hands and scolded angrily “Fuck” as a catharsis to Cui Zuojing’s surprise attack.

A pair of shoes appeared within his sight. Dong Linhai froze and slowly raised his head.

A dark-haired young man stood in front of him expressionlessly, holding two books in his hands. He looked down at Dong Linhai with light-colored tear moles under his eyes, just like two drops of tears that had not fallen.

In his waist, there was a black hole.

Dong Linhai’s brain went down memory lane. The flute player, the mouse, the lizards, and what happened in Hameln came to his mind.

“Ghost!” In the next second, he jumped in place and turned his head to run.

As a result, he directly smacked into Allen, who had just been thrown in. As they fell down, they screamed and covered their heads.

Dong Zheng saw this scene when he first came in. His lips twitched, but he had nothing to say.

The young man couldn’t bear to look directly at this scene and focused on placing the book on his left hand on a stack of books that was piled up to 1.5 meters high. Then he gently rubbed the palm of his hands together and said to Dong Zheng, “You are the one selected by A’Zuo?”

His voice was exactly the same as that of the Hamelin’s Devil Flute Player.

“It should be said that he chose me.” Cui Zuojing and Victor came in. He stepped forward and gave the young man a big hug, happily saying, “I didn’t expect to see you so soon, Fu Zhe. How did you find me?”

Fu Zhe patted Cui Zuojing’s back gently. A smile appeared on his lips. “I felt the fluctuation of your energy for the first time seven days ago, and I knew you had come back. Once you entered the Labyrinth of Time, I was able to confirm your position.”

Fu Zhe looked down and saw Victor squatting on the ground. His voice paused, and he said, “Uncle, you are so cute.”

Victor said graciously, “Thank you for the compliment. I also think so.”

“Ah, yes, I took back your [Goodwill]. I’ll give it back to you later.” Cui Zuojing released his hand and introduced Fu Zhe to each person, one by one. “This is Dong Zheng, the owner of the prisoner card that summoned me. This is the baggage he’s dragging along, his younger brother Dong Linhai, and also this is the teammate he picked up on the road, Allen King.” (1)

Dong Linhai yelled, “Hey! What baggage?! I’m going to get angry!”

Allen said, “Hold on, what do you mean by picked up on the road?”

Fu Zhe nodded politely to everyone. Seeing that all three were looking at him with strange eyes, he said, “I guess a piece of my soul was used as a Boss in a box, and you just happened to experience that box. Is that why you’re looking at me like that?”

“I’m sorry, but I’m just not used to it. Don’t mind us.” Dong Zheng took a deep breath and politely reached out to Fu Zhe. “My name is Dong Zheng. May I please ask for your name?”

Fu Zhe shook Dong Zheng’s hand and said, “Fu Zhe. I don’t know if A’Zuo mentioned it to you. I’m his former teammate, the owner of this castle, the exiled Master of Space and also its prisoner.”

——————————–
Translation Notes:
(1) “the baggage he’s dragging along” — Tuō yóu píng 拖油瓶 The literal meaning is something along the line of “dragging a bottle of grease.” It’s a derogatory term for when women bring children into a second marriage or for women with children from a previous marriage. In the US, a similar derogatory term (regardless of gender) is “baggage” so I just went with that.

 


<<  Previous  |  Chapters Next  >>


 

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
7 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
myu
myu
3 years ago

everytime an op teammate appears i get so so soooo excited

Ketkai
Ketkai
2 years ago
Reply to  myu

SAMEEEEE (≧∀≦) i was grinning all the way ~~~

Axvii
Axvii
3 years ago

Same

Axvii
Axvii
3 years ago

Thanks for the chapter

Anonymous
Anonymous
3 years ago

DAMMIT SKSKSKSKKS I feel so giddy everytime A'Zou meets his old teammates ��

Dreamer
Dreamer
3 years ago

I thought it would take a long time for CZJ to meet any of his other team mates, so this came as a surprise. Finally, the old gang is slowly coming back together! And more stories of their past will surely be brought up ahhhh I’m so excited

3694
3694
2 years ago

I dont like how czj is always not giving any info. Was it too hard to say that ur staying from someone you knew and needed to keep it a secret until you arrive??