Chapter 15 – Transmigration
Shen Jianming grew up in a town right next to the sea. He joined the army when he was eighteen and was chosen for the spec ops squad when he was twenty-three. He was not the best shot in the team, nor the one with the best stamina, but he certainly held the throne for the best swimmer. His squadmates even gave him the nickname “Water Spectre.”
As soon as Shen Jianming was pulled into the water, he held his breath and relaxed down. He knew that any struggling was simply a waste of stamina. As the current grew weaker, Shen Jianming, who was about to reach his limit, swam upward. The dizziness that was growing at a dangerously fast rate was finally cleared away by fresh air as he emerged from the lake. He looked around in worry between heavy gasps for air. ‘Well, I’m out, but what about captain…?’
Shen Jianming had barely turned his head around when he noticed something flying straight toward his face. His eyes went black as the sound of something hard colliding against his head was heard. Before he fainted, he heard an angry voice in the distance.
“That’ll teach you to spy on my sis and me when we’re taking a bath. Pervert!”
* * *
Dawn arrived. It was no longer a sudden shift of night and day, but rather a gradual one. The sky lit up slowly, and the clouds on the east side were colored by orange sunlight. Li Yiming, Liu Meng, and Lin Lu sat at the shore of the lake and stared into the water: an entire night without anyone else surfacing.
“They’re…” Lin Lu lowered her head and bit her lips. She had started the mission with seven teammates, and now five of them went missing before having even achieved anything at all.
“We’ve been split, but they should be fine. We should circle around the lake and look for them.” Li Yiming cleaned away the mud stuck on the bottom of his pants. He had perfect confidence in Eyeglasses, just as the latter had for him, and he saw Eyeglasses near Chen Quan when the whirlpool appeared. ‘So Chen Quan should also be fine, it’s just Shen Jianming…’
“I lost my backpack. I’ll see if I can find some fruits in the forest.” Lin Lu quickly settled down. If Li Yiming could regain his composure so quickly, then she would not be so slow either.
“It’s fine. Liu Meng still has some food, let’s eat first.” Li Yiming glanced at Liu Meng.
“What? Oh.” Liu Meng’s jumped up when her name was called, and the red light beneath her combat clothing faded away.
“Hey, how did your hair dry up so quickly?” Lin Lu suddenly noticed that Liu Meng’s long hair had dried out completely, but her own hair, which much shorter, was still wet and damp. The same was true for the clothes Liu Meng wore. l.
“It is normal that your clothes are still wet?” Liu Meng glanced at Li Yiming.
Li Yiming rolled his eyes; he had already sensed Liu Meng’s fire being used to dry her own clothes for a while now.
“We should eat first. We’ll go find the others after.”
“Alright.” Liu Meng grimaced and reached out for her backpack.
Lin Lu was baffled when she saw Liu Meng take out canned food, milk, bread, and even chips from her backpack. “Did you guys really bring all of this? You really did think of this as a field trip, did you? Also, how did you fit all of this into your bag…?”
“Ah! All done. I only brought this much.” Liu Meng suddenly froze and realized the mistake she just made.
“She was worried that she wouldn’t be able to get used to the food you brought.” A bead of cold sweat rolled down Li Yiming’s forehead as he scrambled for an excuse, and he tried to silence Lin Lu by giving her an opened can of beef.
“Have you noticed?” Li Yiming took a bite from a slice of bread and asked a question that would divert Lin Lu’s attention.
“Yeah.” Lin Lu nodded with a severe countenance and started to chomp down on the food.
Li Yiming took another bite and sipped on some milk as he fell into his own thoughts.
From the moment the sun appeared above the horizon, the uninterrupted chirping of birds could be heard, and right now, there were even small fishes hopping out of the water from the time to time. A quick inspection and Li Yiming discovered the abundance of life at the bottom of the lake.
“Look at that!” Lin Lu swallowed down a mouthful of beef and pointed at the opposite shore. Two white herons flew out of the woods and were looking for food in the lake.
‘This…the whirlpool from yesterday… Everything’s back to normal, but did we make it out… or did we enter the domain?’
“Wait… people are coming. We need to get out!” Li Yiming suddenly heard a very faint noise in the distance. After quickly cleaning up around where they sat, the three dove behind a bush nearby.
Lin Lu grasped her dagger as she laid prone in the grass. She had lost her rifle, but the dagger which she kept around her ankle had survived.
“Some kind of car?” Lin Lu could finally hear the noise now. It seemed like there were quite a few people heading their way. ‘And this noise… a wooden wheel?’
“Quick! Let’s get some water and wash before going home.” A loud, jovial voice was heard. About seven people appeared with two primitive-looking wooden trolleys.
‘It’s them…’ Li Yiming’s heart skipped a beat; he recognized the person who led the way as the man who had jumped off a tree earlier.
“Shush.” Lin Lu interrupted Liu Meng. She could now see that all seven were men between twenty and forty years old. They wore robes and cloth shoes like those found in a museum around the Tang era, and had long, uncut hair. 1
“It’s quite the trip this time. Two whole carts. My little daughter loves these five-colored fruits! She’ll be very happy.” Another man removed his robe and started to wipe his muscular torso with a grey cloth.
“If Xiao Min likes it so much, you should take a bit more then. We’re only two in the family, and Xiao Min is a such a pleasant child,” Another guy said.
“Ah, but Aunt Li also likes these five-colored fruits a lot, doesn’t she? Everyone in the neighborhood knows about your piety!”
“What are you talking about! There are two whole carts. We’ll all have more than enough!”
The men removed their clothing one by one and washed themselves with water from the lake. All seemed to be content and happy with the result of their harvest.
‘Five-colored fruits?’ Lin Lu looked at the giant baskets on the trolleys, which were full of a kind of unknown five-colored fruits as big as apples.
Li Yiming frowned. ‘Going home, neighborhood? They have a village around here?’
The three waited patiently in their bush as the men concluded their routine.
“Who are these people? They’re dressed so strangely…” Liu Meng whispered after seeing the men walk away.
‘Seems like they’ve just finished harvesting some kind of fruit, and they’re going back to their settlement.” Lin Lu had also caught the hint.
“We should follow them.” Li Yiming knew that finding Eyeglasses was not such a priority, since he could rely on the latter to come to him eventually. But the group of men constituted a very important clue. The trio
* * *
Qing Linglong sat at the end of the table and listened to the newly hired young man in the front, who was trying his best to explain his marketing strategy. However, the next moment, Qing Linglong suddenly frowned. The pencil she had been spinning around broken into two pieces and fell onto the table.
The room fell into a dead silence, and the young man at the front looked at his boss with a ghastly expression.
Qing Linglong picked up her phone without looking. She was the only one who dared kept her phone on during the meeting: it was Qiaoqiao.
“That’s a fine plan. I’ll leave the rest to you. I have something to do.” Qing Linglong said coldly and left the conference room.
She had just received a message from Heaven’s Laws: Team Dissonance had entered a domain.
* * *
At a beach on the other side of the Earth, a muscular man with a big beard rested on his chair comfortably with two alluring women in swimsuits. One was massaging his leg, while the other one was preparing a drink. However, both seemed to be terrified by the sudden shift in the man’s countenance. They could not imagine how a man was both rich and had pleasant manners suddenly gave them the impression that he was some kind of ferocious monster.
Big Beard looked at his tablet with a cold countenance. ‘Li Yiming, Eyeglasses, and Liu Meng? So they’re really inside a domain? But what about the vacation? There are still two months left. What happened?’
His tablet was akin to Li Yiming’s, and he had purchased it from the exact same marketplace with progression points. The moment he saw the three names turn red on his screen, Big Beard knew that Li Yiming, Liu Meng and Eyeglasses had entered a domain and were going to be henceforth isolated from the exterior world. ‘Why… are they still wary of me? But what about the Qing sisters? Is this an accident?’
At the Xianyun Abbey of Lianyun Peak, Li Huaibei bowed down reverentially to the statue of the deity in from of him and offered it his three incense sticks. Qing Feng sat right next to him, meditating with closed eyes.
Qing Feng seemed to pretend to have seen or heard nothing of his visitor, and, in the same way, Li Huaibei also completely ignored Qing Feng. As Li Huaibei exited the temple and made for the mountainous peaks in the distance, Qing Feng finally opened his eyes and glanced at the three incense sticks Li Huaibei had brought with him.
“So it starts…” The two whispered simultaneously.
1. In old times, people in China did not cut their hair, since hair was considered a gift from one’s parents, and so it would be against filial piety to cut one’s hair.