Jian Hua hung up the phone and the phone screen automatically changed to the standby background.
It was a dark background with a handsome, heroic general holding a halberd. His face was tired and he was covered in blood, but his sharp eyes seemed to pierce through the screen.
Jian Hua silently moved his finger to the settings icon, chose a picture of landscape trees and replaced the original ‘Crows’ desktop background.
He was in a small clinic receiving saline and glucose. If his body hadn’t been so good, he probably wouldn’t have been able to stand up now.
“You are this frail but you still want to work?” The old doctor of the clinic disagreed with Jian Hua. They were acquaintances. The elderly doctor was a general practitioner with no special skills. He only treated minor ailments on weekdays.
Huai City wasn’t a particularly bustling city. However, there were two large film and television bases, so there were crews filming here almost every day. Many young people dreaming of entering the film and television circles rented a house in Huai City and crowded the subway every day. They would wait in the cold wind for the crew members at the entrance of the film and television bases in the city.
They lived with tight constraints, had no medical insurance and didn’t have much money to see a doctor. Jian Hua was once one of them, so he was familiar with the doctor of the clinic, Old Cheng.
“Young man, what have you been doing?” The old doctor rubbed wiped the lens of his glasses and picked up his stethoscope. “You haven’t eaten for a few days? Go to the hospital for a comprehensive inspection and then recuperate at home for a month!”
Jian Hua smiled. His body was his life so he wouldn’t treat it so lightly. Last night’s experience, no one would believe it.
His eyes fell to the cup on the table. The water suddenly sloshed out, spilling a little bit on the desktop.
Old Cheng didn’t see it as he kept talking. “Compared to other young people, you are successful enough. After spending a few years in Huai City, you have bought a house and a car. I told you to quit smoking and find a nine to five job. You look good and are energetic, so it shouldn’t be hard.”
Jian Hua was silent. If he hadn’t received the call the Li Fei, he would’ve really left the film and television circles.
He took big risks in the past few years and earned a lot of money. However, he used most of that to buy a house and didn’t have much savings left. After leisurely spending half a year at home, he couldn’t continue doing nothing.
“You said on the phone that you would accept the work. But you have to go to Haicheng to sign the contract. It takes three hours by bus so can you do it?” The bearded Old Cheng scolded him.
Jian Hua frowned as he got a headache. “Say it tomorrow.”
Wasn’t this too exaggerated? If he was really so fragile, how could he get to the clinic for treatment?
Old Cheng glared at him and moved busily.
It was a noisy place, with the loud cries of a child not willing to receive an injection and a loudspeaker outside. However, this ruckus was the easiest way to Jian Hua to feel relieved and he fell asleep. He didn’t wake up even when the nurse came in to change the IV.
Jian Hua was dreaming.
He dreamt of an endless barren desert where the sky was an ominous blood-red. There were crows sitting on dead tree trunks, letting out ugly hoarse cries.A young general slowly turned around, his posture upright and his back like a mountain.
The halberd dangled in his hand and there were corpses at his feet. He moved out of desperation in the direction of the sun…
Suddenly, there was a shriek and the crows and withered trees all disappeared.The general stood in a studio and wiped the blood stains off his face, handing off the halberd prop to the crew with a bright smile on his face.
Jian Hua woke up. He opened his eyes and looked at the mottled ceiling.
“Almost there.” Old Cheng entered the room and pulled the needle out of Jian Hua. “You fell deeply asleep and it is almost dinner time. How do you feel?”
How did he feel? He received two IVs so of course he wanted to go to the toilet!
Jian Hua nodded to indicate that he felt better. He pressed cotton to the injection site and went to the bathroom.
The bathroom was a single room with an old lounge inside. Jian Hua relieved himself, and turned the faucet to wash his hands. Jian Hua saw the overhead light bulb swing twice before it fell to the ground.
“What was that sound?” Old Cheng asked from outside.
Jian Hua wasn’t sure if this was an accident or due to his ability. He walked out of the bathroom with a bit of embarrassment and said, “The light bulb is broken. I will go to the store to buy a replacement and help you change it.”
“What for? I will call someone tomorrow to repair it.” Old Cheng disagreed while handing over a small plastic bag. “You should quickly go home to rest. This is your medicine. “You are malnourished and have low blood sugar levels.Remember to eat vitamins…”
Jian Hua suddenly stopped him from talking.
Old Cheng was baffled. He had known Jian Hua for several years and it was the first time he saw such a look of fear in Jian Hua’s eyes.
“What do you hear?”Jian Hua’s voice trembled.
Old Cheng was puzzled. There were no sounds, it was quiet outside-
It was 6 p.m., which should be the liveliest time in this old city. People would be going home after getting off from work, and there should be the utensils rattling. How could it be so quiet?
Jian Hua’s gaze fell to the closed door of the lounge. He walked over and opened the door. Sure enough, it was empty outside. There were no patients here to see a doctor and the nurses had also disappeared.
Old Cheng ran out in a panic, shouting the name of a nurse. However, he stopped with a baffled expression outside the clinic.The neighbours were all gone, as well as the old people usually chatting on the stone benches. All that was left behind were a chess set and crutches.
Jian Hua raised a hand to his forehead. He hadn’t expected this disaster to occur again.
“What is going on?” Old Cheng had lived for decades and he had never seen such a ridiculous thing.
Jian Hua’s emotions boiled, his irritation making him want to smash everything in sight. However, there was an elderly man next to him so he couldn’t reveal his desperation.
Jian Hua found a place for Old Cheng to sit down and briefly explained his experience last night. Of course, he was cautious and didn’t mention that he could move objects.
Old Cheng quickly calmed down and realized the current situation. Intellectually, he didn’t believe Jian Hua’s words, but this situation was shocking.
“You entered the elevator and everything changed?” Old Cheng frowned. He involuntarily remembered that Jian Hua’s IV had almost been finished. The nurse said the young man fell asleep so he had come in to look.
When did all sounds from the outside disappear? Old Cheng thought hard and finally clapped. “The bathroom’s light bulb broke!”
The sound was loud, causing Old Cheng to be surprised. He was worried that something happened to Jian Hua inside the bathroom and quickly questioned him, then they talked until Jian Hua noticed that something was wrong.
“What should we do?” Old Cheng started sweating. Originally Jian Hua’s body was good, but that young person had barely survived after not eating or drinking for dozens of hours. He was old, so wouldn’t this be terrible for him?
Jian Hua picked up a newspaper on the floor of the clinic and his pupils contracted as he saw the headlines of the social news section.
Huan Yu Studios, stolen supermarket food, last night at 11… that young couple had died?
Fire appeared in the distant sky as a huge roar occurred.
Jian Hua was surprised for a moment and quickly ran to the window with Old Cheng. He saw that the top of Pearl Hotel, Huai City’s central landmark building was emitting smoke. The smoke filling the air came from gunpowder explosives.
If today was a weekday, Jian Hua would be absolutely convinced that Pearl Hotel suffered from a terrorist attack.
“There are other people?” Old Cheng was pleased and surprised.
This was a strange incident. Even if they fell into a time stagnant world, who would think about using explosives?It wasn’t easy to find explosives in China, unless it was self made-
There seemed to be unknown people playing with fireworks at Linjiang Bridge, as fireworks leapt into the sky, breaking the quiet night.
“Old Cheng, stay in the clinic. I will go to check it out.”
“…Be careful.” Old Cheng wanted to follow, but his old legs and arms would just drag Jian Hua down if they encountered anything.
Jian Hua nodded towards Old Cheng and promised to be back. He carefully walked down the street towards Linjiang Bridge.
Pearl Hotel was relatively close but there was no need to elaborate about the dangers of explosives compared to fireworks.
The cold wind whistled through the night. The road was the same as light night, with numerous cars parked with the lights on.It was evening peak hour but there would be no reaction, apart from the switching of the green light and red light.
It seemed bustling, but it was actually empty. Suddenly, Jian Hua saw a young man riding a mountain bag while carrying a large bag.
“What?” They saw each other at the same time.
The young man with dyed hair stopped his mountain bike and looked suspiciously at Jian Hua. “You are?”
Countless thoughts went through Jian Hua’s head. The young man’s calm attitude confirmed his guess. This person must know about this, otherwise he wouldn’t be able to face the change so easily.
“I’m going over there.” Jian Hua pointed in the direction of Linjiang Bridge.
“Oh, a fellow human, let’s go together!”The young man replied immediately.
Jian Hua spoke calmly, “You go first. I am looking for a car.”
“You are too casual. You aren’t prepared at all.”The young man didn’t completely let down his guard as he watched Jian Hua.
Jian Hua saw the big backpack behind him. The zipper wasn’t fully closed, revealing the door inside. Jian Hua realized it.
“I have food hidden elsewhere.” He explained.
The young man smiled and raised his thumb, “I actually had that idea but I just brought two bags of food. Rest assured, the plot of the story has just begun so there is no…”
The young man didn’t finish his words because a person sprang from the dark, neatly striking his neck and stunning the young man.
Jian Hua had actually seen the person. It was none other than his childhood friend. He wasn’t sure, but between an acquaintance and a stranger with suspicious questions, Jian Hua naturally chose Lu Zhao. Therefore, he watched quietly as Lu Zhao stunned the man.
“Great, you are here!”
Lu Zhao excitedly grabbed Jian Hua’s hands and said with a scared expression, “I exited from an elevator and discovered that people were gone. There is an explosion at Pearl Hotel, so we should hurry and find a place to hide.”
Jian Hua quietly looked at him, Lu Zhao gave an unsure smile and retreated half a step.
“W-What is it?”