Highway 404 (21)
“Baizhou, run!” Xu Lantian exclaimed from where she was trapped in the subconscious.
Unfortunately, it was too late. On the dim surface of the mirror, two people suddenly appeared like phantoms. They were Doctor He and the female nurse.
Lu Baizhou’s gaze overlapped with theirs through the mirror. The doctor and nurse had a standard curved smile on their faces.
At the same time, two infrared beams of light shot from the left and right to the corners of Lu Baizhou’s lips, leaving two red marks of the same depth and size!
The sound of ‘dididi’ rang through the entire Smile Town like an anti-air raid siren.
[All town residents, please note that there is a dangerous foreigner who doesn’t abide by the rules and is rude in Smile Town. The specific location of the dangerous element is being determined. Please make preparations for the mandatory cleanup of the dangerous element.]
[Residents who catch the dangerous element first will receive a generous reward.]
[Please be sure to keep smiling during the forced cleanup process and be polite to others…]
Lu Baizhou became aware of the danger and ran away. The doctor and nurse suddenly grinned like broken zombies and chased after Lu Baizhou with long scalpels!
Lu Baizhou ran wildly while searching for her sunglasses but found nothing.
During the time when she was unconscious from the anesthesia, the doctor and nurse had thrown away her sunglasses. She had been confused when she woke up and couldn’t remember the rules of Smile Town. Then she accidently met the gaze of the doctor and nurse through the mirror. She gained the glorious ‘achievement’ of three warnings and became a dangerous element that required forced clean up by the entire town.
Once caught, she would be sent to a special institution for lip corner and cheek cutting surgery. Lu Baizhou trembled with pain at just the thought of it. In addition, the delay from the forced clean up meant that she and her teammates wouldn’t be able to leave Smile Town on town. They would have to stay in this oppressive ghost place forever!
Her body had just escaped from the control of the anesthetic and it didn’t have much strength. Lu Baizhou ran through the damp darkness for only a few minutes before she was tired and pale. However, this lengthy corridor seemed to have no end. The smell of disinfectant and blood was everywhere.
Lu Baizhou felt as if her body was tied to sandbags weighing 500 grams. The more she ran, the heavier she became. Her chest was so tight that she could barely breathe. She didn’t know if she was trembling from exhaustion or fear.
“Baizhou, don’t panic. I’m here with you.”
Xu Lantian’s calm voice came from the depths of her subconscious, as if she had just woken up. It was mild with a bit of hoarseness, but it had the amazing power to make Lu Baizhou calm. “There are many idle and empty rooms on the third underground floor. We will first shake off the doctor and nurse and find a place to hide. Then look for a way to escape. Our teammates will definitely think of picking us up.”
Lu Baizhou gritted her teeth and calmed herself down. Then she rushed to the corner at Xu Lantian’s reminder. She quickly flashed around the corner to temporarily avoid the gazes of the doctor and nurse.
Countless empty, abandoned rooms appeared in the endless corridor. Lu Baizhou quickly made a judgment. She first closed a nearby door as a distraction and flashed into the room next to the closed door before the doctor and nurse arrived. She hid behind the door and tightly covered her mouth to prevent herself from making a gasping sound. However, she couldn’t stop the thumping of her heartbeat.
Fortunately, the doctor and nurse were just ordinary NPCs under the dream maker’s program. Their judgment and hearing were lower than normal people and they were soon confused by the interference room. They carried the sharp scalpels and stopped outside the closed door. The doctor took two steps back and kicked open the door and the two of them walked into the empty room that was a distraction as Lu Baizhou had expected.
“You can’t keep hiding. Once our location is determined, the entire Smile Town will hunt you down.” The doctor with a broken smile on his face threatened while searching around the empty room in an attempt to find Lu Baizhou. “It is better to let us get the reward now. In exchange, we will use anesthetic to make the smile cutting surgery painless.”
Lu Baizhou came out from behind the next door and quickly closed the door of the room while the doctor and nurse were rummaging through the boxes and cabinets. She locked the two people in the empty room with the lock on the door.
The sound of ‘bang bang bang’ kept coming from the door. “Please stop your stupid escape attempt and voluntarily accept the clean up!”
Lu Baizhou raised her middle finger at the door and left quickly. After all, this rusty iron lock wouldn’t last long.
Right now, Lu Baizhou was completely lost in the third underground floor of the dark building. She knew that the locked up doctor and nurse would soon give up the reward and would take the initiative to synchronize their positions with the residents of this town. Once that time came, she really wouldn’t be able to escape!
She found a staircase in the darkness. She wasn’t sure if this was the way she had come, but at this moment, she had no choice. Footsteps echoed in the empty corridor and she stumbled and fell. She immediately got up and continued to take the stairs, regardless of the pain.
After two minutes, Lu Baizhou was extremely sleepy and it felt like she had climbed the stairs for two days and two nights. Once she saw the big white dot of light above her head, she almost cried out of excitement.
She gritted her teeth as she sped up toward that point of light. It extended at the end of the stairs into a safe passage, which wasn’t the way she came.
There were no communication tools in this instance, which meant that Chi Nan’s group couldn’t know that she would go out of the safe passage. They wouldn’t be able to pick her up in the car.
Just then, the ‘dangerous element’ position locking notification sounded all over the town.
[According to the report from enthusiastic residents, it is now determined that the dangerous element is hiding in the Smile Building. All residents of the town are requested to go after it immediately.
Lu Baizhou couldn’t care any longer. She quickly fled the Smile Building along the safe passage. As long as she could get out…perhaps there was still a chance…
Many voices were approaching. They were the residents who came to capture her. Lu Baizhou shed tears of extreme exhaustion and fear… She was getting closer to the exit… She instinctively maintained her action of fleeing… Then, the light outside the building pierced her eyes that had long adjusted to the darkness…
“Quickly, get on!” An unfamiliar female voice was heard among the noisy voices. Lu Baizhou was on the verge of collapse and had covered her eyes with her hands. She could barely see through the strong light that a motorcycle was approaching and stopped at the exit of the safe passage. The woman was wearing a helmet and her face couldn’t be seen clearly. She said, “Don’t worry, I am one of your people.”
The other person didn’t give her time to hesitate and dragged her onto the motorcycle. Then she immediately started it. “Sit well.”
The woman carried her and used the motorcycle to cut a path through the wave of people.
“Oops! Lu Baizhou was listed as a dangerous element!”
After the town’s broadcast was heard, the SUV parked at the original exit of the building didn’t wait for Lu Baizhou. You Yu started the car to drive to the safe passage exit.
The occupants of the car had straight backs as they looked out the window. More and more residents were rushing toward the Smile Building, crowding the already narrow road.
Jiang Yu looked at the time. It was already 5:50. This caused her expression to sink. “We don’t have much time.”
“What should we do? If there is a problem with Lu Baizhou then our entire car will fail to clear the dream and fail!” Pei Mo screamed in a hurry. There were even tears of despair falling down his greasy face.
Jiang Yu couldn’t stand this middle-aged man. “Shut up for me immediately!”
Pei Mo immediately silenced himself. He couldn’t afford to offend anyone in the car.
Tension filled the small space inside the car. Desperate silence overwhelmed everyone.
A motorcycle crashed through the crowd and sped by. Jiang Yu had her face pressed against the window so she saw the back of the woman riding on the motorcycle. Her heart pounded… Qu Yijun?!
You Yu looked calmly at the motorcycle that had passed in a cloud of dust. “Oh, that is my colleague, the character you just resurrected.”
Jiang Yu had mixed feelings. “…Who is she carrying?”
You Yu answered, “Probably Xu Lantian and Lu Baizhou.”
“Brother, sit well. There might be some bumps.” You Yu turned the wheel as he spoke. Then, along with the speeding motorcycle, he rammed over countless pedestrians and vehicles trying to stop them.
Pei Mo couldn’t understand the situation. “What is going on? Where are we going?”
You Yu was always too lazy to take care of people other than Chi Nan, so Chi Nan replied for him, “We are leaving Smile Town.”
Chi Nan soon found that this year’s dream makers had very strong driving skills.
In less than eight minutes and with You Yu’s colleague leading the way, they created a bloody road and destroyed countless buildings and public facilities. This allowed them to successfully rush out the toll gate of Smile Town at 5:58.
“Your colleague is good,” Chi Nan sincerely praised.
You Yu smiled. “In a sense, yes.”
The motorcycle stopped 200 meters away from the toll gate and the strange woman took off her helmet. “Get down. It is safe.”
The frightened Lu Baizhou got down from the motorcycle in a daze. “Thank you…”
She paused before asking in a confused manner, “Where are you going now?”
“Hitchhiking.” The strange woman threw her helmet on the side of the road and the motorcycle disappeared. “I don’t want to drive a motorcycle all the way. The wind and the sun aren’t good for my skin and hair and a helmet is troublesome.”
Lu Baizhou: “……”
The woman turned back. You Yu drove the car to their side and rolled down the window. “207, littering isn’t a good habit.”
He said lazily while looking at the motorcycle helmet lying on the side of the road.
207 didn’t even look at You Yu. She smiled slightly as she met Jiang Yu’s gaze. “It doesn’t matter. I am the one cleaning up in the end anyway.”
The moment Jiang Yu looked away, You Yu unlocked the car door. “Ladies, get in the car.”
207 looked over You Yu’s shoulder at Chi Nan. “Oh yes, I almost forgot to wish the two newlyweds a happy marriage.”
You Yu replied: “…Thank you.”
Chi Nan and 207 looked at each other and he greeted her politely, “I heard that the ceremony you designed was reported and canceled. I am sorry.”
207 was stunned for a moment. Then she smiled and sighed contentedly. “I have no regrets about meeting a sleepwalker like you. Thank you for your cooperation.”
She thought, ‘This Chi Nan is quite special. No wonder 229 treats him specially.’
207 went around to the other side of the car and pulled open the door on Pei Mo’s side. “Uncle, can you please go to the back and sit? Thank you.”
Pei Mo had already accepted the setting that he couldn’t offend anyone and replied with a smile, “No problem, no problem.” Then he moved and sat down in the back row.
Everyone fastened their seat belts and You Yu continued to drive along Highway 404.
There was a sound from the radio that had been silent for a long time.
[Congratulations to all sleepwalkers for successfully completing the Highway 404 Redemption Tour. There are still 1800 km to go. Please enjoy the comfortable remaining time of the road trip and I wish you a happy journey.]
“So we were successful in clearing the dream?” Ever since meeting 207, Jiang Yu had been a bit in the wrong condition. The sound of the broadcast pulled back her mind slightly and she took the initiative to ask a question, as if to avoid embarrassment.
207 replied, “Yes, you are the fastest sleepwalkers who have completed the journey. The rest of the journey must be completed in order to return to the Dawn Base, so just take it as a drive.”
Pei Mo in the back seat heard this and almost cried out with excitement, “Thank god it is finally over.”
Lu Baizhou, who had changed back to Xu Lantian, remained silent. It was probably because the two personalities were communicating in their minds after a long time and had no time to pay attention to idle people.
Jiang Yu felt inexplicably uncomfortable and took out her cigarette pack and lighter. Then she accidentally realized that the wallet that had disappeared was back in her pocket.
207’s eyes wandered between the driver and front passenger for a moment. Then she leaned back against the seat with satisfaction and looked at Jiang Yu, who was obviously uncomfortable. “Sister, can I borrow a cigarette?”
Jiang Yu stopped taking a cigarette for herself and handed the only cigarette left in the cigarettes box to 207.
The eyes of the two women met. 207 had the exact same face as Qu Yijun, but her expression and aura were completely different.
Intuition told Jiang Yu that a woman like 207 would never abandon her girlfriend to find an insignificant fiance.
207 took the cigarette very naturally. “Thanks. Can I also borrow a fire?”
Jiang Yu lowered her breathing and directly leaned over to light the cigarette for her.
207 bit the cigarette and smiled. Sparks jumped and a faint smoke ring rose. Jiang Yu’s eyes stayed on the other person’s face through the smoke. “You’re welcome.”
She was the only one who knew that the palm of her hand holding the lighter had long since been sweaty.
207 took two puffs before taking out the cigarette and handing it to Jiang Yu with a smile. “Do you mind?”
“Cough cough, can you open some windows? It is too suffocating…”
The dog food in the car seriously exceeded the standard and Pei Mo couldn’t help protesting. Unfortunately, his protest was snuffed out in an instant.
207 looked at him impatiently. “Uncle, if you aren’t used to it then you can get out of the car at any time.”
Pei Mo: “……” The middle-aged man had his three views broken and he chose to shut up.
Chi Nan sat in the front passenger’s seat and twisted the radio knob to pass the time. Unfortunately, it was the same music no matter how he changed it.
207 saw Chi Nan’s actions and said, “After the dream is cleared, all weather programs are automatically removed. There will be no weather forecast for the rest of the journey.”
Even the dream maker said this so Chi Nan had to give up.
There was no expression on his face as usual, but You Yu could feel Chi Nan’s loss.
“Don’t say that. Maybe my brother can really find some interesting weather,” You Yu said.
207 speechlessly watched him. What type of blind and pampering husband was this? Forget it, it was fine.
The moment You Yu finished speaking, the radio suddenly made a familiar noise.
[Dear listeners, it is time for the road condition broadcast: The EM00404 vehicle is approaching the ghost tunnel. The ghost tunnel is 80 km long and the estimated travel time is one hour.]
The car instantly fell silent.
You Yu glanced at 207 through the rearview mirror. “What’s going on?”
This was the first time everyone had seen 207’s face change color since she appeared. “I don’t know. This… it isn’t within the scope of the forecast that I designed.”
You Yu frowned. “Are you serious?”
207’s face turned white. “How can I joke about this?”
As the dream maker of Highway 404, 207 had never arranged any ghost tunnels.