Against the Fate – Chapter 3
Chapter 3: Dinner
The bus left the mountain area and arrived at the Insight City in about two hours. Insight City was labeled as the Eternal Planet’s most peaceful city. The main city’s population was more than two million people and the total population was more than 8 million. It’s on the East Continent of Eternal Planet, where agriculture, commerce, and shipping are the most developed.
The prisoners discussed things amongst each other while looking at the magnificent buildings and beautiful women all around. But everyone had already seen how ‘fragile’ the Beauty traveling with them was. So, no one dared to say anything perverted words at the ladies on the street and these hooligans showcased the best gentlemanly behavior they could.
After travelling for a distance of about 5 kilometers, the bus stopped in front of a warehouse. The warehouse security opened the iron gates and the bus entered inside while 10 guards armed with assault rifle followed the bus inside.
The Beauty then ordered them to get off the bus.
Among them, there was a man who was out of ordinary. He was about 1.85m tall with his soft golden hairs covering his cheeks. He was wearing white trousers and was dressed in a suit. He elegantly came forward from the security group and opened the door for The Beauty. The Beauty seemed accustomed to this; her left hand held his hand while her right hand held a cloth bag.
Handsome Man handed mineral water to her as he smiled and said: “You have worked hard, Classical Exploration Company’s director is waiting for you, let me deal with the other things.”
” Well,” The Beauty nodded and walked toward the main building.
The main building had two floors. In front of the glass wall on the second floor was a 30-year-old man who held a coffee cup, looking at the 1st floor through the glass, he waved to say hello to The Beauty. But The Beauty ignored him; her walking rhythm wasn’t affected. Handsome Guy took notice of it and shouted while snapping his fingers, “Here.”
Then murmured one sentence to himself, “ How troublesome.”
The security guards escorted the prisoners to the side of the warehouse. The warehouse’s floor had paved mats, sleeping bags and there were thirty sets of very thick green clothes and trousers.
The Handsome Man clapped to attract everyone’s attention and stood in front of everyone as he casually said: “My name is Ding Ze, I am the deputy manager of the North Luna Office. On the invitation of the Classical Exploration Company, we have hired all of you to go to a desert, looking for a lost city. A month will be the time limit, and everyone would be given 30,000 RMB reward. This is the form, fill it and give it to your leader. In this expedition task, the person who obeys the command can offset 10 years out of sentence but if you leave the program halfway, then be ready to face the consequences. We’ll take the train to the Karma Town tomorrow morning, rest half a day then go to the desert. Well, for now everyone can rest but do not try to leave this warehouse.”
Ding Ze left after saying that. There was four security guards with guns standing at the warehouse door, monitoring every move of the 15 individuals.
Cui Ming casually chose a position to sit down, as he picked up the form lying on the straw mat and began to fill it.
A 25 or 26 years old guy came to his side and asked: “Bro, what should I write in the column ‘ID Type’?”
After getting the job, Cui Ming got back his things, including his identity card. Cui Ming took out the ID card and looked, then said: “Square Shaped.”
“My name is Xiao Jiang.” That guy reached out.
They shook hands, then continued to write down the information in the form. For example, emergency contact address, it had a clear description, like if you die the 30,000 reward together with the thousands of insurance compensation would be sent to your emergency contact person. If you didn’t fill in the emergency contact address, after you die the money would be sent to the Insight City charity.
Seeing that Cui Ming left this column blank, he asked: “Don’t you have a mother?” He was selected before Cui Ming so had listen to his interview
“Insight City is my mother.” Cui Ming chuckled, when he saw Xiao Jiang’s emergency contact person, he asked: “Ex-girlfriend?”. (Editor – haha he clearly said that his mother was waiting)
“Well,” Xiao Jiang let out a self-deprecating smile and asked while changing topic: “Cui Ming, Why were you sent in?”
“Fraud? That’s brainwork.” Xiao Jiang said with an admiring look: “Didn’t think you were an expert.”
Cui Ming replied while blushing: “I was arrested on the first time.”
“Haha.” Xiao Jiang smiled and said: “I am in for robbery, on Valentine’s Day I only had 7 RMB remaining in my pocket. It was my first time too… ”
“Brothers.” Cui Ming and Xiao Jiang shook hands.
Giving filled form to Big Guy, Cui Ming and Xiao Jiang sat on the straw mat and chatted, and got to know that Xiao Jiang expected to offset the sentence by the atonement. He went to prison for only six months. Although his girlfriend never came to see him, he always believed in his heart that his girlfriend was still waiting for him, so he signed up.
Listening to conversations of everyone around, everyone avoided discussing about the risk of the work, although they knew the answer in their hearts but they did not want to believe, let alone discuss. After a simple lunch, they sat around in a circle and under the leadership of the Big Guy they vowed, no matter under what circumstances, they would lend a helping hand to the companion in trouble and never betray the others.
Afternoon, the Classical Exploration Company sent in the collar tags and asked everyone to hang it on their necks, so that even if the corpse was destroyed beyond recognition, they could still recognize the owner of the body. This was related to insurance, and insurance companies did not want to be careless. Dinner was very rich; they had mutton soup, pork, white-cut chicken, even a few type of seafood. No one knew who spoke first, saying that the food tasted even better than the last supper of death row prisoners but it made the atmosphere instantly turn colder.
Cui Ming saw that atmosphere was gloomy, so he clapped: “I’ll tell you a historical story.”
“… …” everyone stared at Cui Ming.
Cui Ming cleared his throat and said: “A long time ago, there was a man called Yu Gong1, there were two mountains in front of his house, hindering him from traveling, so he kept digging the mountains, wanting to remove the two mountains.”
Xiao Jiang raised his hand and asked: “Why did he not move his house?”
Cui Ming froze for a long while. Everyone smiled and laughed, while Big Guy replied kindly: “Please continue.”
Cui Ming helplessly smiled, continued: “The Jade Emperor was very unhappy after he got to know about that thing, so he sent two gods to sit on the two mountains. As a result, Yu Gong was unable to dig the two mountains, so he asked the Wise Man. The Wise Man smiled, threw out a bean from his pocket, and the two gods were lifted to the sky and disappeared. Yu Gong asked, ‘What kind of treasures could be so magical?’. The Wise Man leisurely said, ‘Coffee, drinking coffee can raise your mood.’”2
“WTF, Such a lame joke!”
The joke was lame, but the atmosphere became lively. While everyone was chatting, Cui Ming asked the Big Guy quietly: “Will that beautiful woman would go with us to the desert?” As Big Guy was the captain of fifteen individuals, he must have had some internal information. If the Big Beauty did not go, his journey to the desert would be meaningless.
“She’ll go.” Big Guy answered: “Brother, don’t think too much, even if we unite together we are still not her match.”
Willing to exchange for freedom by atonement, this group of prisoners could be regarded relatively better prisoners. Cui Ming responded to Big Guy’s reply with a smile. These people were friendly to each other, but the reason was not because of kindness but because they were stuck in the situation. Faced with unknown danger, working together was the only way to survive.
- “Yu Gong” means “the foolish man.” This based on “The Foolish Old Man Removes the Mountains” story.
- This is a pun. “Mood” (提神) contain the character (神) means “God.”