Chapter 16: The Eleventh Time Cycle (II)
Original Translations: Crafted with Care, No Unauthorized Reposting Allowed.
Boy was a foreigner and was not familiar with the area, but Li Shiqing remembered that there was a large park nearby and that there was less surveillance in the countryside, so they decided to hide there first and then see what they could do.
Because of Boy's rare outburst of anger, Li Shiqing wilted a little on the way and did not initiate any further mention of the bus, but her mind was still on whether the car could be saved.
As Boy said, she had died so many times that she had become "numb" to it, and had grown accustomed to this "time loop", subconsciously thinking that it was a natural thing to keep "coming back from the dead". "Subconsciously, she felt that it was only natural to keep coming back from the dead, without thinking about what to do if the cycle of time stopped, or what to do if it could not be repeated.
Unlike Xiao Heyun, who hasn't had to time loop a few times, the few times he has had to time loop, he has had the companionship of "Li Shiqing" to lean on, and the despair of watching people die and not being able to end it in any way hasn't quite gotten to him.
He is more inclined to "break out of this time loop myself" than to "save the whole bus".
This difference in perception becomes more and more evident when the two finally begin to 'talk' in a secluded place.
"The best thing that can happen now is that our time loop stops, and we can sleep and wake up tomorrow. Whether the bus is in trouble or not, it's none of our business."
Boy sighed, wearily, "But if that's the case, sooner or later we'll face questions about how we knew the bomb was in the car; after all, we can't turn off our phones forever, or hide forever."
At that, Li Shiqing subconsciously argued, "But if the police succeeded in solving this bus bombing case because I called the police, they would have figured out the cause of the explosion, what the explosives were, and the identity of the culprit. If they choose to inform the whole network as they did last time, we will be able to get these causes and clues ......"
"This possibility that you are talking about is the best possible. Let's not mention whether the police will be able to solve the case as soon as possible and whether they will be notified all over the network, there is still a prerequisite for your matter to turn good ......"
Boy smiled bitterly, "These clues will only be useful to us if we will actually re-cycle time."
[But are you willing to enter the time loop again?]
Such cruel words he didn't say.
But as soon as Li Shiqing saw his expression, she understood.
So she became more and more silent.
"There is also the possibility that the police have not solved the case and the time loop has continued again ......"
Boy rubbed the bridge of his nose, which was pressed against the mirror rest, and said feebly, "Then there's no point in getting off at this stop, except to be on tenterhooks, and all this time is tantamount to being wasted."
"I thought you got out of the car just because you didn't want to get blown up again, plus I was pretty scared of that near-death feeling, so I chose to get out of the car and call the police, but that doesn't mean I don't want to get involved in this."
Li Shiqing had never discovered the real disagreement between her and her companion until this moment: "If I hadn't called the police, what were you going to do when you got out of the car if you weren't trying to find clues?"
Boy shrugged his shoulders.
"My original plan was to get off the bus first and then use the normal excuse of 'getting off at the station' to get past the police after being summoned. If this goes away and there is no time loop later on, the matter will have nothing to do with us."
He said, "I know you probably think I'm too 'meticulous', but as you can see, with a bomb in the car and an unknown number of terrorists, this kind of thing is simply not even for ordinary people like us to tackle. We've died so many times and we've done our best!"
"If all of us in this bus are destined to die, then it is possible that we escaped because the old heavens opened our eyes, or it is possible that Hades took a nap, either way, one must cherish the opportunity, we are not the true culprits, we do not need to feel guilty for not being able to save everyone ...... "
"But I harbour a guilty conscience towards you."
Li Shiqing suddenly interrupted his eloquent speech.
"I'm afraid to even pull anyone off the bus anymore because of the guilt I feel towards you."
Boy's face, which had been full of concern, gave a lurch.
In the wetland park, it is so quiet that even the chirping of insects and birds can be heard clearly.
A flock of skimming birds passed over their heads, sending a faint chirp from high in the sky, the sky high and the clouds wide, setting off the girl's ever-smaller voice, yet her voice, so clear and strong.
"Although you never complained about me, I've always felt guilty." She said, "I pulled you down regardless to escape that suffocating place, and although you said I saved your life in a sense, and I thought so at the time, it's been a dozen times now, and I know ...... this 'living ' that life is worse than death."
Boy looked at the girl and could not open his mouth for half a day.
"I'm the one who brought you into this hell. Yes, the lives of all the people on this bus may not have anything to do with me, but your life is now with me."
She still holds herself together with a "strong" attitude, as she has done countless times when she was on the verge of breaking down and regaining her strength.
"I wanted to give up once too, when you said to me, think about your parents ......"
She looked at Boy, at every detail of his face, as if trying to memorise him in this way.
"I'm not thinking about my parents, I'm thinking about your parents."
"My parents were so upset to know that something might have happened to me that they wanted to jump off a building, and my dad got the call and went on the highway. My mum said that nothing was as important as my life. So what kind of pain would your parents be in if they knew I had put his son through this?"
"These are sins, which I have committed."
With such words ringing in his ears and being looked at in such a way, Boy ducked his head half in shyness and half in dismay.
"I understood everything you said, all the expectations you had, all the possibilities you tried, all the attempts you made to get off the train and return to your normal life, I tried too. That moment when I dragged you off the train, I thought, as you did, that maybe it would be the last time, but as it turned out, God just wouldn't let me go."
Her eyes slowly percolated with an orb of tears, and when they were full, they flowed down her cheeks and silently traced their way across her chin to the floor.
"I know what it's like to keep reincarnating, and I know how desperate it is to struggle alone and not see results. I've 'died' five more times than you have. If the cycle of time had a count, I might disappear before you do, so I have to try more possibilities before I do."
"I know you're scared and you don't want to care about anything ......" she choked out, but tried hard to smile, "I, I understand all that."
Xiao Heyun sat on the bench, looking at the little girl in front of him, smiling while she was in tears, as if she had been struck by an electric shock, and all her limbs became sore.
What followed was an unspeakable shame that filled the heart.
Yes, his grandiloquent words, his feigned adult maturity, his condescending explanations as if he deserved them ......
It was all just a cover for his "fear".
"So, I can't force you to keep trying, you can leave."
Li Shiqing pointed to the road not far away and continued, "If the police do find me, I won't name you; I've been through two questionings and I know what to say. You, on the other hand, are just a nice guy who saw that I wasn't in the right spirit when I got out of the car, you can stonewall the police and go about your day."
"I've thought about it when I was just walking over here, if we can get off at the East River Road stop every time, even though we can't escape the time loop and get on every time, you can still get off at the stop."
"That way, at least ...... least you won't feel the pain of death every time. I'll stay in the car and keep looking for the real killer, find a way to stop the car from exploding, find a way to get the police to catch the killer, and you can just go and do whatever you want when you get out of the car and get away from all this pain ......"
When she spoke of the separation, she did not look sad, as if she was truly "relieved" to have escaped the pain of her companion in this way, and her tone even became lighter.
"I've seen quite a few sci-fi movies like that, and the protagonist in those movies ended up with a successful outcome. Some of those protagonists were in the same day time loop, boring and painful, but he used that time to teach himself piano, to teach himself dance, to teach himself many, many useful things, and every day was different for him; some used that time to make up for their regrets, to do things they were afraid to do ...... By the time they finally broke free of the time loop They all became very good people."
She says, "I think that the length of time may not be enough, but as long as the width is enough, it shouldn't be too bad a life."
Xiao Heyun pursed his lips, his breath coming in long and short bursts, his chest rising and falling in response. He had avoided Li Shiqing's too-clear gaze, but now he couldn't look away.
The naivety in this girl that he had previously "criticised" was now so thrilling.
Those innocence were her weapons and her armour, which routed Xiao Heyun.
"I'll try, I'll try to find the real killer, try to assist the police, try to break us out of this time loop. You don't have to worry about me or feel obliged to stay and help me because you're morally bound, just pretend you don't know me and get off where you're supposed to. ......"
"Because this whole thing had nothing to do with you in the first place, it was something I should have faced alone."
The tears on Li Shiqing's face have been gradually dried by the wind and there is no sign that she has even cried. It was shameful to say so much from her heart in front of someone she didn't know very well, so every now and then a shy expression would show on her face.
But she was brave enough to say it anyway.
"Stolen time is time too, you can live your life, go do what you want to do and don't give up. Maybe like those movies, suddenly one day I made it or the old heavens opened up and you're no longer in a time loop ......"
She gave a touching smile.
"I hope that by that time you have turned out to be as good as those main characters."
Boy looked at her steadily and did not speak.
"So, it's time to see you again then?"
Probably because she thought she had confused Boy, she rubbed her nose in embarrassment and held out her right hand to him.
"Good luck, and good luck to me."