Doomsday Wonderland Chapter 532
Through the small glass window on the door, Lin Sanjiu could see the gang of prisoners was rushing at them. Horrified, she recoiled. Then, using J7 as her support, she kicked the door open. It hit the oncoming mob with a mighty force.
Ignoring the searing pain, Lin Sanjiu pulled J7 and said, "Run!"
The autonomous mechanical being knew the gravity of the situation. Its two pedrails spun rapidly as it followed after Lin Sanjiu without asking any questions.
In a matter of seconds, the entire building was flooded with inmates. Lin Sanjiu and J7 soon found themselves surrounded by a swarm of people wearing orange-red jumpsuits once they were in the hallway. In the distance, there was an endless stream of prisoners, all making a beeline in their direction. The few prisoners closest to them got up from the ground, and the turrets from the opposite side of the floor adjusted their angles to point their fire at them.
"Where should we go?" J7 asked.
But they knew it was impossible for them to escape the siege.
One minute later, both of them were sent back to their cell. Their bodies were riddled with holes, and they looked extremely battered. They chose to release their hands because they had no other choices left.
Since their jailbreak had caused a commotion across the entire prison, the moment they were thrown into a new cell, their cell had undergone some huge changes. Lin Sanjiu looked through the small glass window and she was stunned. The workers outside were quick with their hands, and they covered the glass window in merely a few seconds. She could only see blackness.
The worker built a wall outside the door, completely sealing them inside the concrete room.
"This is a game, isn't it?" Lin Sanjiu slumped to the ground, and said dejectedly, "Why is it so damn hard?"
"This is because it is a tough game," J7 replied.
Lin Sanjiu had no comment on that.
"... They have sealed every exit, so how should we get out from here?" As she spoke, she realized the as the last bit of light disappeared from the cell. She raised her head to see that those workers had even closed up the transom. That was the final light source they had, and Lin Sanjiu had had enough of darkness. Sighing, she said to J7, "J7, make a light, please."
"I'm in my Higher Consciousness form, and both "light" and "ammunition" are formed using my Higher Consciousness," J7's voice was flat and uninflected, wafting from the darkness to her ears, "I have sustained a great loss of my Higher Consciousness, so I have to use the remaining bit sparingly."
"Do you have a better suggestion, then?" Lin Sanjiu hugged her head; she was torn in between the devil and the deep blue sea.
"Aside from normal ammunition, I can also shape my Higher Consciousness into a 20mm sub-caliber shell, or a spigot mortar such as an armor-piercing discarding sabot or a rocket-assisted projectile. It's not a problem at all to break through the door and the concrete," J7's artificial human voice was monotonous, but it sounded like the hymn of an angel to Lin Sanjiu's ears.
Her eyes glowed, and she hastily said, "That's great—"
"But," the word had quenched the fire in Lin Sanjiu's heart, "Shaping them would cost me tons of Higher Consciousness, and I wouldn't do that because don't have enough Higher Consciousness to form them."
"Not even one?"
J7 paused for a moment before talking again, reluctantly, "Well, one shot is possible."
"One shot is good enough. What are you worrying about?"
"Because I would be left powerless after that," J7 said. It waited for a moment for the words to sink in before continuing to talk again, "No offense, but your Higher Consciousness is too weak. The moment I bust the door, we will be facing an infinite number of prisoners; no, perhaps even the warden will appear this time. Without my Higher Consciousness as a backup, I bet we will be sent back to the cell again without making any advancement if we rely solely on your Higher Consciousness. Hence, in the sense of efficiency, I don't think this is a good idea."
It was evident that the Eternal Warrior did not know how to save face for its counterpart in a conversation. Flushing red in embarrassment, Lin Sanjiu refuted weakly as she said in a low voice, "... You can't expect that much from me. As I said earlier, I'm still not at the stage where I can enter Astral Plane at will…"
"Well, it's true that I didn't expect much of you since you still haven't mastered the "corresponding conditions" yet either."
"Corresponding conditions? Do you know what's that? I have heard of that word a couple of times in the past… When Bohemia trapped me in a house, she mentioned that the house is her "corresponding conditions."
"To paint the picture better for you, let's take my ammunition as an example. My ammunition is one of the forms I shaped my Higher Consciousness into. This is "corresponding conditions"."
"So that's what it means," the scale instantly fell upon Lin Sanjiu's eyes. She thought for a moment before asking again, "I have developed many kinds of abilities with my Higher Consciousness in reality. Can I use them here?"
"Negative. All of those are the foundation, the very basic of "corresponding conditions. You may use some of them here, but most of them are unusable. Anyway, in general, those abilities are not on the same level as the "corresponding conditions."
In other words, the abilities she had developed such as [Consciousness Mimicry], [Esthesis], and [Defense Forcefield] had two purposes. One was to improve her battle prowess while another was to serve as the foundation for her developing "corresponding conditions" once she was able to enter Astral Plane.
But the sad thing was that Lin Sanjiu still hadn't mastered her Higher Consciousness yet. So, even though she had the theory right, it didn't help her much.
Nevertheless, she wasn't going to idle here and do nothing. Bohemia might have hidden their bodies somewhere safe, but her grand prize was fighting alone, struggling to stay alive in Salvation of God. To make his circumstance worst, his battle capabilities were basically non-existent.
Both of them sat in the dark, and none of them had any better idea that could turn the game in their favor. Since they had no idea what to do, they decided to take a rest while their Higher Consciousness recovered. After some time had passed, Lin Sanjiu ran her hand over her leg, and she was delighted to find that her leg had finally healed.
However, her right hand had not recovered yet.
"Hmm?" She muttered.
J7 did not reply. For an automaton, modal particles that carried no useful meaning was nothing but noise.
Lin Sanjiu pondered for a moment with a frown. Then, she asked, "That prisoner cut off my hand and your tail…"
"Then, where is the Higher Consciousness form that has been cut off?"
There wasn't any reply from the dark for a few seconds. Suddenly, Lin Sanjiu heard the whirling of a machine as she felt J7 had glided nearer to her. As the white beam percolated the darkness, J7's stapler-like head appeared from the dark.
"I have never considered this question," it replied while spinning its head, "By all accounts, even our Higher Consciousness had been severed from our main body, it should still be there. Take a look at this."
As it said, J7 demonstrated to Lin Sanjiu of what it meant—Its head shuddered for a moment and separated from its body. The head flew closer to Lin Sanjiu, hovering in the air. Given their current ill-lit, claustrophobic atmosphere, it looked just like a ghost.
"Okay, fine, fine. I get it." The sight of the head brought Lin Sanjiu back to the days in Kisaragi Train Station. She waved her hand to have J7 get its head back.
"My head did not disappear even if it has been separated from its main body, so our Higher Consciousness must still be somewhere out there," J7 said as it reattached its head, "But when we went out for the second time, I did not see my tail nor your hand on the floor."
Lin Sanjiu fell into deep thought.
When she was in Bohemia's house, she had absorbed "Syphilis" Potential Growth Value. Once she absorbed his Potential Growth Value, Syphilis' body—his Higher Consciousness form—vanished.
In the Astral Plane, it could be said that Potential Growth Value was homologous to the Higher Consciousness form. Could it be the prisoner that attacked them had absorbed their severed Higher Consciousness form?
Somehow, Lin Sanjiu had an inkling that she could manipulate this fact to her advantage. As she leaped up in exhilaration, she asked at J7, "Can you let me attack you once?"
"Are you kidding me? Absolutely not."
"I just want to test something…"
"It won't hurt, I promise…"
"I don't believe you."
Crestfallen, Lin Sanjiu heaved a sigh, "This is so that we can get out from here. Fine then, I'll let you pick. Either you blast the door, or you let me attack you once."
Before the wind could carry her voice away, she saw a sudden burst of blinding flame erupted from the dark. The next thing she heard was a loud explosion as the prison cell shook vigorously. The spiral of the blast, bricks, and sparks had sent Lin Sanjiu flying to the ceiling. For a moment, she could only see stars, and as she coughed in the billowing smoke, she yelled to J7, expressing her fury, "I thought you said this was suicidal?!"
As the alarm went off madly, J7 said calmly, "After I have made some comparisons, I found this method more viable."
Since it took some time for their pursuers to reach them, Lin Sanjiu felt they shouldn't waste more time, and they should run now. Without making any comments, she commanded J7 to climb onto her waist as she spread her legs and turned to flee. J7 was right that its size diminished significantly after it had blasted the door; right now, it was as large as a domestic feline. Extending an "arm" to wrap around Lin Sanjiu's waist, it was now dangling beside Lin Sanjiu's thigh as she ran.
"Do you mind if I ask a question?" J7's voice was still as flat as before even though it was now being rocked up and down, "... What was in your mind when you asked me to blast the door?"
"I—I actually did not expect you to choose the former option…"
"Your point being?"
Before Lin Sanjiu could reply that she still hadn't figured it all out, she paused as something clicked in her mind, "There is a road we still haven't tried yet!"
Even though the hallway was shrouded in darkness, there was a map inside Lin Sanjiu's brain as she roughly had the formation of the building figured out. She darted straight towards the barrier of the hallway. The light bulbs in the hallway flickered and lit up one after another.
The hallway was flooded with light, making it look as bright as daytime. In the meantime, Lin Sanjiu leaped over the barrier and fell straight down.
The wind whistled through her ears. Below them were a row of turrets, and using them as her stepping stones, Lin Sanjiu continued to descend at high speed. The turrets on the opposite floors instantly pointed their nozzles at Lin Sanjiu the moment they detected her movement in the air.
Almost at the same time as she leaped down, the turrets blazed her previous spot with a salvo of bullets. A shower of sparks flew up the air, and the explosion pushed her forward. She slalomed between the firearms like a primate, avoiding one after another barrage of ammo that followed closely behind her. As the temperature mounted, a searing sensation burned her skin. Her heart raced fast like the humming of the engine of a racing car.
J7, who was bobbing around her waist, began to analyze their situation, "It's still a bit risky to avoid those artilleries given your current speed. Once you're hit, I'll let go of my hand. So you better be careful…"
Truth to be told, Lin Sanjiu couldn't register anything J7 said with the never-ending shooting in the background. Right now, she could only see her next landing spot. Everything else, including the ceaseless pouring of bullets, looked slow as if they had been frozen in place.
After what felt like an eternity, Lin Sanjiu, at long last, landed on the ground. She now began to feel the racing pace of her heart, as if her brain had at last responded to the heart-stirring escape they had gone through just now.
There weren't any turrets installed on the first floor, and since they were out of the firing range, their ears finally found peace as the hail of gunfire ceased.
The alarm stopped, and the entire building plunged into a pool of deadly silence.
Huffing heavily like a cow, Lin Sanjiu turned around, allowing her gaze to travel around their surroundings. There weren't any inmates coming for them.
The first floor had no prison cells, and it looked just like a spacious concourse. There was a door at one of its ends while there was a haphazard collection of tables and chairs on the other side. The surroundings were shrouded with the shadow of the rings of the hallway above, so only the center was exposed to the light. Pressing herself against the wall, Lin Sanjiu tiptoed in the shadow. Suddenly, a "click" drifted into her ears, as if somebody had opened a lock.
Then, footsteps came. From the footfalls alone, she knew it was more than one person.
"The escapees are on the first floor," a voice, presumably a man, was talking to his partner, "Be careful."
"Are they the wardens?" Lin Sanjiu stole a glance at J7. She realized that it had become even quieter than it already was.
"Understood," a woman replied, sounding impatient, "Trust me. I'm more anxious than you to finish this game. I thought she was here. Is there any possibility that I was wrong?"
Lin Sanjiu was stunned. She was hiding behind a pillar so the two wardens, or the two players, did not notice her. She held her breath, turned her head, and took a quick look.
That's right. One of the two wardens was none other than her nemesis: Bohemia.