Chapter 22 A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Hao Ren crawled up from the ground, muttering as he pinched his thigh, “Damn it, can I still be a Earth human happily…” He was one hundred percent sure that he was resting in the shade in front of the door of his house just now, and the surrounding was the old streets and old roads which he had been familiar for more than twenty years. And he could still vividly remember the shabby houses and the pothole-filled concrete roads common along the Whitestone Road in the Southern Suburb… Yet after napping for just a moment, his view had completely changed.
Hao Ren found himself standing on a vast grass-covered plain!
Looking to the distance, the grassland was endless, spreading as far as his eyes could see. The night wind, which made this field of infinite grass roll like waves, was far more refreshing than the city wind he was used to. Hao Ren looked up to the sky, and it was a night sky unlike any he had seen in the city before, as it was clean and clear, decorated with of millions of stars. The starlight was so dense and bright, that he could even see the scene on the prairie under the night sky.
At the far horizons, there was one big and one small silverlit orb rising slowly into the sky, and he could even see a halo on the edge of the larger one. Two moons!
“I knew that I shouldn’t have read so many stories!” Hao Ren looked at the two moons slowly rising into the sky and the night sky that was full of stars which he was not familiar with. Hao Ren could not help but jump up, “Have I f*****g traversed?” 1
Hao Ren fiercely pinched his thigh several times, and it hurt to the extent that he could hardly walk, so he thought that maybe he was not dreaming. Then what’s the scene in front of him? Thrown into a different world even when resting in shade? Motherf***er, there were still two nonhuman girls waiting to be fed at home!
Hao Ren’s mind flashed through countless ideas in an instant, and he thought of a dozen classic cases of traversing to another world. Then thinking about the two troubles at home and his newly-arrived identity as an employee of the STA, and in the end all his thoughts turned into a long sigh. Then, he realized that he shouldn’t just keep waiting here as he heard the howling of wolves.
Hao Ren said goodbye to his deck chair, and walked in the direction of the moons: He vaguely saw the silhouettes of buildings in that direction, which at least gave him a target. Of course, he also knew that aimlessly wandering around in an unfamiliar environment was not a wise move, as it might exhaust his physical strength and increase his risk of encountering some greater danger, but the key thing in his mind was that, he “Traversed”, right! The way he’d come here was not normal itself, and no one could come to save him even if he waited there, so it should be better to take a look around in this situation.
“The location of the traverse is really not reliable. Thrown onto such a large prairie without even a single tree, how could I live?” The prairie night was chilly, and Hao Ren could only cross his arms and walked muttering. “Do I really need to eat grass when the time comes? If I encounter poisonous grass, I’ll die. If only there was a forest… If I could cut a tree and build a workbench I could probably live…” 2
Apparently Hao Ren was not a qualified traverser. Just ten minutes he came to the strange environment, he had begun rambling in his mind. It was not at all in agreement with the traversers’ “setting” that they would become calm,wisdom,resolute and decisive the instant they went into a unfamiliar place. But he was simply unable to control his mind to the point where it could disperse his anxiety and tension throughout his bones – He was just a normal person, a philistine idling away his youth, whose biggest life crisis up to three days ago was just that he couldn’t rent out his house. For such a simple person, how could you expect him to be so outstanding?
There was another howl coming from far away, which could probably be an illusion produced by his tension. Hao Ren at the moment could not help but think of the soft-headed werewolf at home. Lily could also howl in this way, but hers sounded more melodic. What if that werewolf was here too… Although her brain was a little pitiful, she should at least be enough to deal with these wild wolves, right? Anyway, he also began to worry about whether she could get along well with Vivian: If he couldn’t go back in time, within three days, they would have probably torn down the house already… But he felt it wouldn’t matter even if they just tore it down at that point, since by then it probably wouldn’t be relevant to him anymore.
Hao Ren just continued to walk on this seemingly never-ending prairie with all these rambling thoughts. The surroundings were so vast that, he felt no change of the scenery, even after he had walked for so long. And were it not for the fact that the recliner behind him had disappeared and that there were two moons to indicate the direction, he might even have felt that he was walking in circles.
As the temperature fell lower and lower, a simple T-shirt was no longer enough to overcome the cold night wind of the prairie. Although in the beginning Hao Ren still felt the air here was fresh and crisp, he was starting to miss the hot, slightly polluted air on the Earth from half an hour ago.
And just then, there came another howl, very close and very clear this time. He knew that it could not just be his imagination this time.
Immediately Hao Ren felt that the hair on the back of his neck was bristling, and the strange sixth sense which he had been developing for twenty-five years was activated immediately. He realized that he had unconsciously walked into an area where the grass rose up to his knees, while in all the directions pairs of eyes flashing faint green light seemed to float out of the darkness one by one.
Even as the ghostly wolf shadows emerged from the grass, Hao Ren had no idea how these things had managed to get this close without his noticing, and at this moment he was really frightened! How could he have predicted such a scenario!
But fortunately, even as an ordinary person, Hao Ren also had a composed side he took pride in. He restrained the urge to run away or shout loudly, as he knew that it would only make him die faster. Hao Ren was confronting the wolves, trying to find a way of escaping, while he had no way to vent the depress in his heart: Could his luck be any worse? What the hell was with this dangerous situation!
If he had a self-defense weapon, the situation would be much better! Hao Ren was convinced that even if he was carrying the broadsword, he would still be unable to fight against a group of twenty or thirty coyote, but at least he could cheer himself up with a weapon. But as he carefully felt around his body, he could only find an old-fashioned Nokia… Well, in some sense, this thing really was a super weapon, and if he tied it to a stick, then it might be used as a hammer… But could we please stop teasing on the neta of God Machine Terrier?!
The wolves certainly wouldn’t give Hao Ren the opportunity to ramble in his mind though. Just as his mind slipped, the closest wolf suddenly rushed towards Hao Ren silently. He only had the chance to see a shadow dashing towards him with a shape different from the wolves on earth. All he could do was raise his hand to block it reflexively…
Suddenly a loud voice bursted into his ear, and Hao Ren felt that his brain was aching. The whole world suddenly became groggy and twisted, and when he finally opened his eyes, what he saw were the familiar streets, familiar old houses, familiar grey and star-sparse city sky, and Lily’s silly face.
Hao Ren took a deep breath, as a follow-up to his move when the wolf leapt at him and he looked around in a daze. “So I’m back?”
“What do you mean, back?” Lily poked at Hao Ren’s arm, and then pulled him up. “Landlord you didn’t go back to the house for a long time, and the rat with wings asked me to find you. And all I saw was your lying on the ground and, em, shrieking.”
Hao Ren was pulled so strongly by this mighty soft-headed werewolf that his arms were nearly out of their sockets, but at least he was completely awake. Looking around, he found that he was well all over, and turned to look at the recliner that had fallen onto the ground. He finally determined that the realistic “Traversal” experience was just a nightmare.
But wasn’t the dream too realistic?
“Nothing, I just had a dream.” Hao Ren waved at Lily, a little moved that the two at his home were so concerned about him. And if they could stop fighting, it would have been even better.
Just as Hao Ren waved his hand, he noticed something was lying on the hand he had raised to stop the wolf in his nightmare.
A few strands of black wolf hair.
“Holy shiiit!” Hao Ren threw the hair as though it was burning coal and bounced up high. “Haunted!”