It was the last room in the doll’s house. After walking out of the unlocked wooden door, Cui Zuojing squinted his eyes against the warm sunlight and raised his hand to block that bright and dazzling light.
They seemed to be standing on a street in a small town that was bustling with noises. The houses that lined the road had only two floors, with the ground floor being used as a storefront and the upper floor used for living.
The streets were full of dolls of all kinds, like Daffy Duck, Mickey Mouse, Barbie, Pikachu, Dumbo, and more…There were also many dolls that Dong Zheng couldn’t name. All of the dolls were vividly alive and behaved just like ordinary people.
“Now this is a doll’s house,” Allen whispered.
Their task interface simultaneously updated to [Defend Paradise], but they didn’t understand what it meant. A little chicken nearly collided into them, and with a gasp, its eyes suddenly widened. One wing rose up to cover it’s mouth while the other wing pointed at them, and it shouted, “There are people here!”
In that split second, the whole street became incredibly quiet as all of the dolls stopped what they were doing and turned to look at them in alarm. Dong Zheng clearly saw hatred flashed across the little yellow chicken’s beady eyes.
Cui Zuojing stepped back and let out a very soft “Wow” that only Dong Zheng was close enough to hear.
“Some people actually came in!”
“Oh my God, quickly drive them away!”
At first, it was just one sound, but soon more shouts came one after another. A bulky tiger doll stepped forward vigilantly and said sharply, “Get out! You’re not welcome here!”
There were too many dolls around. If they got into a conflict, it definitely wouldn’t be good. Dong Zheng frowned and tried to negotiate, but the tiger didn’t even give him a chance to speak and immediately dashed forward to attack.
In the distance, a brown bear and a gray wolf watched the altercations. Dong Zheng was very certain that if they put up any resistance, the two dolls would immediately rush over to join in the fray.
Dong Zheng turned and decisively said, “Run!”
No one raised any objections. They all turned their heads and ran away. Fortunately, the other dolls didn’t come forward to stop them and only stared at them guardedly, full of resentment and fear.
This area resembled a market and the streets were very narrow. After a few turns, the group of people ran into an alley. There was a shop on the side of the street, and all the dolls that came out of it held masks. Guessing that it was a mask shop, Dong Zheng waved his hand to the people behind him. He slowed down and entered the store.
When they entered, the bell at the door jingled “dingdong.” As he passed by the shelf next to the door, Dong Zheng conveniently took a faceless mask and put it on himself. He looked around, noting that there were many dolls in the shops but they were concentrating on choosing their favorite mask. The owner was sitting behind the counter, knitting a sweater. At this time, the dolls had yet to notice their presence.
Except for Victor, the others also picked up masks nearby that they found pleasing and covered their facial features that marked them as human. Cui Zuojing picked up a black, Phantom of the Opera mask and looked at the expressionless face reflected in the mirror. He found it rather amusing that he looked like a killer with no emotions.
A doll took the selected mask to the counter to check out. Seeing the doll took out a few buttons from its pocket and handed them to the shopkeeper, Dong Zheng was relieved.
In his pocket was a bag of buttons that he’d received after buying red bean paste bread for the female ghost. Now, it came in handy. Dong Zheng turned around to tell everyone to put on a mask and was startled when he came face to face with the Guy Fawkes mask of V from Vendetta.
Allen laughed and said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it.”
Lin Hangzhi had on an ox head mask and deliberately lowered his voice to say, “This bull warrior will never take off his mask!”
Dong Linhai was playing with the two small ears on his Batman mask. Dong Zheng pinched his eyebrows anxiously and went to the counter to check out.
The little raccoon doll shopkeeper didn’t realize that they were humans. He looked up, counted the number of masks, and then continued to focus on the things in his hands. He said directly, “Five masks, 20 buttons.”
Dong Zheng counted out 20 black buttons, gave them to the shopkeeper, and walked out of the mask shop with dignity.
As many dolls passed by them, Dong Linhai asked in a low voice, “Okay, so what are we going to do now? What does defending paradise mean? This place doesn’t look like it needs protection.”
Dong Zheng shook his head and said, “I don’t know. First, let’s keep an eye out for any changes.”
After saying this, he looked at Cui Zuojing, who had turned his head to look behind them, and said, “Any suggestions?”
Cui Zuojing withdrew his gaze. Somewhat unaccustomed to the weight on the bridge of his nose, he raised his index finger, pushed the bottom of the mask and said, “I suggest you find a crowded place to temporarily take a rest and collect information.”
It had been four to five hours since they entered the box. Even though they didn’t know exactly how much time had passed, everyone felt tired to varying degrees. Allen suggested, “Should we find a restaurant or a hotel?”
Lin Hangzhi said, “But is there a restaurant in this place? Do the dolls even eat?”
“The dolls also shouldn’t be able to walk and talk.”
The clues and information collected at the school seemed to be completely useless here. After some time, they were finally fortunate enough to locate a suitable place: a small bar in the corner of an alley.
The bar was small with dim lights. There was only a long bar and a few tables. There was a staircase leading up to the second floor but the entrance was covered by a narrow curtain, indicating that the upper part was a private room. Cui Zuojing guessed that, after work, many residents of the town would come over to the bar for a drink.
However, at this time, there weren’t many customers in the bar. Chipmunk, the bartender behind the bar was reading a book with relish. Seeing them enter, it hurriedly straightened and asked, “Would you like to drink something?”
Victor’s eyes lit up. He jumped on the high bar stool, raised his head, and told the little chipmunk, “A glass of vodka with ice.”
Cui Zuojing couldn’t stop him, so he could only say, “Only drink a little. You will definitely get drunk if you drink too much now.”
Victor was very happy with his tail raised high. He had the body of an unneutered tomcat with two small eggs under the root of his tail. It looked very fluffy and easy to touch.
In fact, Cui Zuojing had covertly touched it many times while Victor was asleep.
Dong Zheng stroked Victor’s head and said, “Give me a glass of Chivas.”
Fu Zhe wasn’t a person who drank alcohol. As a result, there wasn’t even the shadow of a bottle in the castle. The last time he’d drank alcohol was on the rooftop during the Blood Night. However, beer was no different from water for Dong Zheng, and it wasn’t very enjoyable at all.
Cui Zuojing reminded them, “Take it easy. Don’t be too greedy if your tolerance is low.”
“It’s okay. I can drink.” Allen knocked on the bar very socially and said, “Tequila, with a lot of lemonade.”
Lin Hangzhi was a docile and well-behaved doctor who’d never been to a bar or the like in the real world. After a long time, he pointed to Allen and said, “Give me whatever he’s having.”
Dong Linhai said, “Rum with coke.”
Cui Zuojing ultimately chose not to have any alcoholic drinks. “A bottle of Sprite.”
Not long after, the five people sat side by side on the stools with their drinks. Standing on the bar, Victor was licking the pure vodka in his glass with an intoxicated face. His head was almost buried in the mouth of the glass. Cui Zuojing vowed that Victor had never enjoyed himself so much even when he was teasing him with catnip.
Sure enough, really worthy of his nationality…
Although there weren’t many customers in the bar in the afternoon, there were still two or three sitting at the tables beside them and chatting. The five of them were tacitly silent as they concentrated on eavesdropping on the conversations at the other tables, trying to obtain useful information.
Sitting at the table next to Dong Linhai was a polar bear and a chicken wearing black-rimmed glasses. They seemed to be colleagues and were chatting about trivial things in the neighborhood. He sipped his rum, and as he listened, he finally relaxed since entering the box.
Suddenly, the chicken lowered its voice and said, “If I remember correctly, the catastrophe predicted by the astrologer is about to arrive, right?”
Dong Linhai’s ears immediately perked up.
The polar bear sighed. “Yes, precisely these two days. Yesterday, I ran into Daffy Duck at the grocery store. I asked him and he said that he didn’t know how the catastrophe would happen, so he could only let the guards make preparations and think about countermeasures once the time came.”
Dong Linhai secretly nudged Dong Zheng with his elbow and gave him a meaningful look, telling him to listen to the conversation over there.
“I’m a little worried…Although the few disasters that the astrologer had predicted in the past were successfully repulsed, those were only small-scale events. But this time, the astrologer predicted that this disaster would determine the survival of the town.”
“Yes, after each catastrophe, it always took a long time to treat the wounded. If this is worse, then many of our companions would die.”
The dolls became silent for a long time. Finally, the polar bear said resolutely, “But no matter what, we will definitely protect the town and the Master. We absolutely can’t let her get hurt.”
It was estimated that all the dolls in the whole town knew about the upcoming catastrophe, otherwise they would not mention it in such a public place as this.
The two dolls probably didn’t want to continue such a heavy topic anymore, so they started talking about other things. After more than ten minutes, they pushed the empty wine glasses aside, got up, and left.
The polar bear opened the door of the bar, looked out, and immediately turned to the chicken who was still packing and said, “Master is coming! Come and see!”
The polar bear didn’t deliberately lower his voice, so all the dolls in the bar heard him. Everyone got up and rushed out to look. Even the little chipmunk put down the cup it was wiping down and walked out behind the bar.
Dong Zheng and the others also took the opportunity to go over and take a look. Lin Hangzhi and Allen didn’t hear the conversation earlier between the two dolls so they looked confused.
When they walked out of the bar, they found that the two sides of the street were full of various dolls. They all looked at the other side of the road, whispering excitedly to the people around them, just like a large fan meeting.
From the spot where they were watching came a girl in a dress, walking with a few Barbie dolls. She looked to be about 11 to 12 years old, had long, golden hair and eyes as blue as the sea. There was a slight limp to her left foot when she walked.
“Agatha?” Dong Linhai looked at the girl’s appearance and her thin and weak body and whispered what everyone else was thinking.
They silently watched the girl pass by and didn’t notice how much they stood out. Agatha greeted the dolls with a smile and received flowers and small gifts from them, just like she was the favorite princess of all the dolls residing in the town.
Sure enough, his guess was correct. As the source of Agatha’s nightmare, the school was reduced to hell under the control of mutant dolls, and those who had bullied her died tragically.
Meanwhile, she lived in a paradise created by the dolls.
As he was thinking this, Dong Zheng caught a glimpse of someone staring at them from the door of the clothing store on the opposite street corner. He immediately looked over with vigilance.
There was nothing there.
Dong Zheng frowned and glanced at Cui Zuojing, who was standing next to him. The youth was also looking in that direction, wearing the cold expression that was often seen on his face.
When talking to people, Cui Zuojing did smile. However, Dong Zheng had observed him for a long time and discovered that Cui Zuojing’s eyes never showed any fluctuations or intense emotions. He never laughed or smiled when he thought that there wasn’t anyone paying attention to him.
It was like…all the smiles were just petensions, an effort to make other people think he was easy to get along with.
Realizing that Dong Zheng was looking at him, Cui Zuojing smiled as he’d expected and asked, “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing.” Dong Zheng withdrew his gaze. But, he continued to have the feeling of being stared at.
It shouldn’t be an illusion.
Xixi: LMAO. Did Cui Zuojing just admit that he touched Victor’s balls while he was sleeping? I…I don’t know how to feel about that.
I also learned that cat’s balls are kind-of cute, just like tiny little egg walnuts (as an inquisitive human being who’d never seen cat’s balls before, how can I not google it?)
In previous chapters, I used “heaven” but “paradise” made more sense. Previous chapters have also been updated.