Chapter 38Target: Great Western Continent
Translated by Oedon
Edited by Oedon
In Hua Xi’s worldview, food had always been the farthest thing from the word, delicious.
Perhaps big companies and powerful forces can afford to seek delicacies, but for the vast majority of Wasteland’s people, food was always just a means of survival, nothing more. For the refugees, being able to eat every day and not die from starvation was more than enough; it was rare for them to be “full.”
Though the “Wasteland Hunters” indeed fared better than the refugees since they were an Evolved Ones—it was not by much. In this crisis-ridden world, they must be prepared to risk their lives to traverse the wilderness. Most of the time, they were afraid to light a fire for fear of being detected, causing frozen jerky, pancakes, and snow-broth to be their only victuals choices. Therefore, the word “gourmet” had never existed in Hua Xi’s dictionary—until now, that is.
Still ignorant, Hua Xi picked up the food and stuffed it into her mouth clumsily. She felt the warmth and the aroma of seasoned food explode on her tongue; her brain blanked for a moment.
“Is… is this food? How… how can it be so delicious?” This thought emerged in her mind irresistibly.
Hua Xi suddenly realized she could no longer control her hands. Since she doesn’t have the habit of using chopsticks, she simply held the lunch box and swallowed it fiercely, seemingly afraid that, if she ate slowly, Lin Tuo would take it away.
For this lunch box, Lin Tuo had specially ordered a large one for her. As soon as Hua Xi took a few mouthfuls, she proceeded to lick the lunch box even under the low temperature of minus 20 degrees.
“Hiccup!“ Hua Xi choked, and her eyes rolled back.
“Eat slowly…” Lin Tuo was taken aback, though his tone became gentler. He reached for bottled water and handed it to her. “Here, drink.”
“Thank—hiccup!“ said Hua Xi. She admired the bottled water, then opened and carefully sipped it after a moment of hesitation.
The disparity between this sweet water and dusty snow-broth was so immense that she didn’t dare to gulp it. Instead, she just took a few sips carefully, then re-closed and hid it into her pocket subconsciously.
“Why do you even bother hiding bottled water. What about the lunch box…” Lin Tuo said helplessly. He then pointed to a huge bag full of kebabs and snacks.
“If that’s not enough, there are still these.”
Thereupon, many new things appeared in Hua Xi’s shriveled stomach. With just a few bites, the lass swallowed a handful of kebabs down to the base. As for the snacks, she only took a few bites before putting them away. En, since I’m no longer hungry, it’s better to save these for the journey, she thought.
Lin Tuo just watched silently.
On the other hand, Hua Xi stared at Lin Tuo with weird eyes after she had eaten the lunch box.
She said, “Who are you, really?”
It can’t be helped; these foods’ origins were genuinely inconceivable. After all, thirty years had passed since the Cataclysm, besides a few foods, all that remained were the packages… Yet, here they were, fresh foods. Although the words on the snacks’ exquisite packages confused her, she can still discern that they were similar to the creations of the old era.
Not to mention these warm meals; they were even more suspicious. Their existence can’t be explained logically, unless…
“Could it be, is creating food out of thin air your ability?” asked Hua Xi, looking serious. This is the only possibility that I could think of.
“Pfft.” Lin Tuo almost spewed out the water that he was drinking. But when he considered it, that seems to be his “ability.”
Lin Tuo screwed the cap back on the bottle, then he raised his head and said, “Some things are better left unsaid, so don’t ask. All right, now that our stomachs are full, it’s time for you to answer my questions. Well, if you prefer to be silent, then I can only—”
“Just ask. I’ll answer everything.” Hua Xi sighed. I can’t resist anyway, not to mention that I owed him a favor for these meals.¹
Lin Tuo was stunned, then burst into laughter despite himself. He thought about it and said, “As you should have noticed, I am not a local, but from a distant land; I do not know the local customs here. So… I would like to get in touch with the three forces you mentioned. Where can I find them quickly?”
“You are looking for them?” Hua Xi was stunned. She suppressed the urge to ask and said thoughtfully, “Usually, you can just go to their respective chief cities, but now… you can only go to the Great Western Continent.”
Great Western Continent…
Lin Tuo’s heart moved. He whispered, “Why?”
“Because just a while ago, the intensity of the radiation there had waned. Burning Fire, Gray Mountain, and even the main forces of Apocalypse Wanderer have swarmed to the mountains there, searching for the legendary Imperial Seal.”
“The Imperial Seal? Tell me about the Great Western Continent, carefully,” asked Lin Tuo, looking serious.
Soon, with the help of Hua Xi’s narration, Lin Tuo got a broad outline of what happened.
Among the Wasteland’s survivors, there was an urban legend; about how the Mad Emperor could control the scientists and carried out the experiment that destroyed the world—effortlessly—thirty years ago. According to it, the reason was an extraordinary artifact, the “Imperial Seal.” An artifact that could control the mind of others; and created by the “Spiritual Tides,” which occur every few years.
Furthermore, there were rumors that it, too, was the reason the Mad Emperor could usurp the throne and establish an Empire that lasted decades. Of course, there was no empirical evidence, but it was not baseless.
When the “Cataclysm” occurred, it buried the Imperial Seal within the Western Mountain Range along with the Emperor and the Great Western Continent’s laboratory. And since that area is the closest to the explosion, its radiation pollution was severe. For thirty years, many have attempted to enter the Great Western Continent, but none returned alive. Therefore, that area had become a forbidden zone in the Wasteland.
It was only in recent years that, with the decrease of the radiation intensity, various forces finally re-focused their sights on there. Especially recently, the radiation entered a period of rapid decline; the entire Great Western Continent was no longer dangerous. Hence, the three major forces mobilized their main forces and rushed toward the forbidden zone—searching for the Imperial Seal.
“The thought of their competitor getting the Imperial Seal had deeply worried the three major forces. After all, if it truly had such a magical power, once anyone gained it, it would change the existing balance. Even countless Evolved Ones have gone there… and, to say the least, even if one can’t find the Imperial Seal, it’s rumored that there are many good things in the Great Western Continent’s laboratory.
“And there’s even the biggest weapon factory of the old era there. So… whether it’s for the Imperial Seal or the resources there, the three major forces won’t abandon it.
“About one or two months ago, their main forces had entered the Great Western Continent, and right now, they are probably amidst exploring it deeper. If you want to find them, going there is the easiest way, you can meet them all at once…” said Hua Xi as she sighed. “Originally, when I got that batch of weapons, I had also thought of going there to take a look.”
Lin Tuo smiled, then sank into contemplation. The information that she narrated had indeed filled in the blind spots of my knowledge and gave me some understanding of the incident’s specifics. The “Spiritual Tides” should be related to me collecting Ether…
This made Lin Tuo a little fearful and a little surprised. After all, even Earth had made no contact with Ether. Well, to be fair, Lin Tuo had done no global collection outside of the Sandbox, nor did he disturb the Earth’s Ether environment on a large scale. So, when the time came he could do a global collection, the geoscientists should be able to detect the anomaly.
In contrast, what concerned him more was the “Imperial Seal.”
“A transcendent power… and is related to the Spiritual Tides… What the hell is it?” Lin Tuo was curious to where he even thought of immediately sending himself to the Great Western Continent. But after he thought about it again, he held back.
Anyway, the entire Sandbox is under his control. There was no way for the Imperial Seal to escape his hands, so no need to be anxious; he still needs to go to the Great Western Continent, though. It just so happened that he had been walking westward; he might as well kill two birds with one stone and kill Mutated Beasts along the way, speeding up the progress of his body tempering.
Having decided, Lin Tuo asked again, “So one last question, what is your ability?”
He had an inkling that, maybe, the ability of the “Imperial Seal” has some similarities with the “Transcendent Abilities” of the Evolved Ones.
This was the second time that he asked this question, but this time, Hua Xi only struggled briefly before she sighed and confessed.
“My ability… is self-healing… it triggers once my body is injured, quickly healing my body at the cost of my body’s nutrients. Therefore, every time I get hurt, I will be starving.
“The Burning Fire Company’s people injured me when I fought them. Hence, my body repaired itself on the way; I nearly died from starvation there, which is why I went to Mining Town to find food.”
Oh, that explains it. No wonder. Lin Tuo’s eyes turned clear; this puzzled him earlier, after all; she was being chased. How could she still have the time to steal food? It turned out to be the cost of her self-healing. Earlier, too, when he injured Hua Xi, the reason she could recover so fast was the manifestation of this ability.
‘Hmm, sounds like some kind of rapid cell proliferation ability… I wonder, can I replicate it if I study it…’ he thought, a little moved.
The two sat for a while, learning more details.
When they rested enough, Lin Tuo took Hua Xi back to the car. “We’ve eaten. It’s now time to go back on the road.”
“Where are we going?” Hua Xi, whom Lin Tuo had untied, asked as she climbed into the car.
“Click, rumble…” Lin Tuo turned on the engine; the entire modified SUV rumbled. Amidst the rumbling sound, Lin Tuo stepped on the gas and responded casually, “The Great Western Continent. Let’s go all the way to the west!”
Thank you “Gosh, why am I so handsome”² for the gift.
1. Owed him a favor for these meals “吃人家嘴短” (lit. The mouth that eats others’ food is shortened), a shortened version of a proverb that teaches you that, by getting something for free from someone, you’ll owe that someone a favor (English equivalent is “there’s no free lunch”). The full proverb is 吃人家的嘴软，拿人家的手短 (lit. The mouth that eats the food of others is softened; the hand that takes the possessions of others is shortened). Source: Click here.
2. His account name in Mandarin and Pinyin: 妈呀我咋着帅, Mā Ya Wǒ Zǎ Zhe Shuài
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Please tell me which format you like better, this long paragraph format? Or the short one? F.Y.I: The raw's (the source/the chinese ver) paragraphs were short. I changed it to this long paragraph format since, in my opinion, it looked way, way better.
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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog