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Xin Meng fiercely opened his eyes and found himself lying on the hard and
cold ground. He tried to get up, but his head was dizzy. He rubbed his temples, he vaguely felt that he had forgotten something, but he couldn’t remember what it was.
He slowly recalled everything that happened until now. They seemed to have entered a horror game, there were zombies everywhere. Then, he cleared the final task under the protection of his new teammate You Yi and then… And then?
He looked around the strange environment, did they go to the second game?
Dense forests, undulating mountains, birds singing. Xin Meng is somewhere
high and through the sunlight, he could see a valley below.
There’s a large village in the valley with irregular brick houses scattered
about. Many people could be seen coming and going through the village on the dirt road.
At Xin Meng’s foot lie the village surrounded by mountains with a single
road. Turning back to look, he only saw darkness, like there was an invisible wall standing there, blocking any attempts at retreat.
It seemed that he could only go forward.
He doesn’t see his other teammates; he doesn’t know where they are.
Xin Meng didn’t hesitate to pick up the backpack that had rolled off his
feet and turned it over. There was some food and two bottles of water stashed inside. He began to carry the bag on his back and slowly follow the dirt road. He descended the mountain for almost half an hour before entering the village.
The village had no guards or fences, neither did it have a formal entrance.
The village could be entered from anywhere. The people inside are dressed
plainly, walking at a leisure pace, men and women comfortable under the sun.
He had spent only a few days surrounded by disgusting monsters and corpses, but it felt like a lifetime, so when he saw living people, he thought they were very cute. Xin Meng wanted to go talk to them but was afraid of being too abrupt.
However, he didn’t have to worry about such concerns. When a new face
appeared in such closed village, it immediately attracted everyone’s attention. They looked at him curiously and soon many young people came over to him.
“Who are you? How come you are here?” A youth asked enthusiastically. “I
haven’t seen you before, are you looking for someone?”
“Who are you looking for? The village has not been visited by outsiders in
many years!” An 18-year-old girl next to the youth said, with a thick braid
behind her head hanging all the way to her chest. She had no makeup on but was still beautiful. The purity and kindness of those people made him very comfortable. Now, many pairs of big eyes looked at Xin Meng with curiosity.
Xin Meng began to shake his head, but thought about it and said, “I traveled
with my friends. When we got here, but we were separated. I wanted to see if they were here.”
“Oh, then I will go to my dad, he can get someone to help you!” the girl
smiled cheerfully. “My dad is the village’s chief. We have a big horn at home, it can be used to call them, come with me!”
After that, she turned around and ran, her braid fluttering in the air.
Others enthusiastically followed her, some pulled his arms, some pushed his back, and the group all smiled, following the braid girl and asking
embarrassing questions to Xin Meng. He attracted many stares, the youngsters looked at him with curiosity, and the elders showed him a gentle smile.
Xin Meng, who was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the villagers, was put in a good mood by their kindness. He took the initiative to keep up with the crowd as they walked deep into the village.
The girl’s home, the home of the village chief, was in the middle of the
village. It was bigger and better than the other houses, but is still a
bungalow. After passing by a few chickens, the door was opened.
“Dad! There’s a guest!” The girl screamed before she even arrived at the
door. When they reached the house, a man on his 40s came out to meet Xin Meng. His eyes were inexplicably bright, and he came forward with light steps, smiling as he said, “How strange, this village hasn’t received outsiders in a long time. Are you alone or did you come with friends?”
Xin Meng felt that the village’s head words were a bit strange, he didn’t
ask why he was there, but how many visitors there were? He wasn’t sure of the situation, so it was hard to point it out. He just repeated what he had said to the girl. The man touched the beard on his chin and laughed. “That’s nothing, I’ll get the horn. The villagers will help you; they will be found soon. Wait.”
After that, he entered the housed, Xin Meng looked up at the rook and indeed saw a shabby big horn there. It seemed to be very old.
Soon, the voice of the village’s chief was heard through the horn and Xin
Meng found out he had a dialect, he couldn’t understand a word.
Xin Meng was a bit curious. Before, he heard the accent on the youngster’s
words, but he thought they were all speaking in mandarin. Turns out they had a dialect, but that was strange . Generally speaking, in villages that have dialects, that dialect should be the main language. He heard mandarin until now, so was the situation somehow reversed?
He left the question on his heart and carefully listened to the village
His speech was brief, but it was repeated four or five times, the sound of
the horn was loud and exaggerated, the family who lived in the corner of the village could hear as good as those close to the center. Xin Meng was standing right under the horn, and after it, he could feel his ears ringing. He quickly covered his ears and didn’t dare listen again. When he looked around, he found out that the crowd had blocked their ears long ago.
Xin Meng: “…”
‘Why did no one tell me…’
Soon, he saw people coming out of the surrounding houses. There were men, women, old and young, looking at the village’s head house until they saw Xin Meng, then they smiled and went out to search for someone.
Xin Meng was greeted by the braid girl. A dozen people didn’t know where to go and sat down. Xin Meng, who saw everyone sitting, also sat. The girl took out a tea pot from the house and with clear water inside it, which was handed to Xin Meng.
Xin Meng silently looked down at the tea stain on the inner wall of the pot
and all the smudges around it. He thanked them and held it in his hands. He
looked to both sides of him, people talked and showed they were not thirsty at all.
The girl stared at him expectantly for a while, and seeing he didn’t drink,
a flash of disappointment flashed on her eyes, but Xin Meng missed it because she turned her head to say something to the person next to her. She twirled her fingers around the tip of her braid and whispered something.
While chatting with the people around, Xin Meng asked about the village, so
he knew the basic situation of it.
This village is called Xiu Se village. It was named because of the beautiful
scenery and beautiful spring colors of the mountains around during the whole year*. Xiu Se village has been around for many years, it was impossible to say since when, but their grandparents have been farming and hunting here. Occasionally, the youngsters would go down the mountain to look outside, but very few stayed there, it was said the people of the Xiu Se village were very close to their families.
That seemed a bit unbelievable for Xin Meng, since the world outside is so
prosperous, how can they stay inside this small village. But thinking it was all due the game’s settings and were not real anyways, he didn’t pry too much into it.
There’s more than a dozen men and women from his generation, all in similar age and they all got along well. Xin Meng can see they are all on good terms with each other, and among them, the youth that talked with him and the braid girl appeared to be their leaders.
The youth introduced himself as Wu DeLi and the girl was called Wu XueHua. They are cousins. In fact, not only those two, but everyone are relatives in some degree. The village was small, that’s why all of them had the surname Wu and no one had any other. If their ancestors didn’t name the village Xiu Se, it would be called Wu village.
The villagers were very charismatic, which lifted Xin Meng’s spirits. The
young girls surrounded him and asked about the world outside. Xin Meng has never been outside, he doesn’t know what it looks like, so he only answered vaguely. Fortunately, no one was skeptical and they were satisfied with the answers, making him feel relieved.
He also asked about their dialect. When they heard about it, they froze and
looked at each other. After some time, Wu DeLi explained the dialect was also passed by their ancestors, so when they made public announcements, they used the dialect. They didn’t know why.
Xin Meng thought about it, ‘Is because they are afraid of forgetting the
language left by their ancestors?’
Soon it was noon and his teammates were still not found, and those villagers who went out hadn’t returned yet.
Wu DeLi and Wu XueHua warmly invited him to have lunch inside their house. Xin Meng was embarrassed to trouble them and refused at first, but the other teenagers also coaxed him to eat at the chief’s house. They would all cook and eat together; it would be quick and with no bother at all. Xin Meng couldn’t really refuse and thanked them. He tried to go to the kitchen to help but was blocked by dozens people, half went to the kitchen and half sat down with Xin Meng to continue chatting. Wu XueHua took out a plate of melon seeds, the group chatted and talked, the seed peels thrown right to the ground.
These people were very simple, naturally good-hearted and straightforward.
It was just like they said and after half an hour, the rice was ready. Since
there were many people, they ate on the yard. Wu DeLi moved two big tables together that he had taken from the house and folding chairs. Xin Meng wanted to help, but they didn’t even let his butt leave the chair.
Wu XueHua laughs and blinks at Xin Meng with playfulness, “Where’s the
reason to let guests do it, all you have to do is sit and wait for the food!”
Xin Meng was left with no choice, he couldn’t refuse their kindness, so he
Soon, everyone was seated. Wu XueHua’s father, the village’s chief, sat on
the main spot. Others were mixed around. Wu DeLi and Wu XueHua were responsible for the kitchen.
When the meal was arranged on the table, Xin Men looked at it surprised.
Braised pork ribs, beef stew, hot pot meat, sautéed meet, fried meat,
pan-wrapped meat, beef sauce…
Most of the dishes are made out with meat, besides that, the was only one
dish with fried potato and one with cabbage.
He moved his fingers, with the background of everyone picking their dishes, and quietly took out the card from his pocket, reading the back of it:
[This is not a paradise for vegetarians.]
[But it must be hell for the meat eater.]
Translator and Editor Notes:
More flags were raised than flags at the UN building. Giving me some real RE7 and Children of the Corn vibes here. ~xTechon
Xiu Se (秀色) means beautiful/good looking. Great job author. Anyways, what do you guys think? I already have a few guesses… ~Zucci
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