Chapter 23: The Seventeenth Cycle of Time
Original Translations: Crafted with Care, No Unauthorized Reposting Allowed.
During the last normal stop, Li Shiqing and Xiao Heyun discussed the fact that in a place like a bus, you can't hide a bomb on the outside, whether you put it under the seat or in a hidden place, because the mobility of the passengers makes it easy to spot a sudden addition.
Considering that the bombs have exploded on cue before, this is the most likely type of bomb to be carried around.
Li Shiqing and Boy also speculated on the possibility that the bomb would be more concealed if it was too small, but both were eventually overruled.
First of all, of the many explosions, even excluding the few that accidentally hit the tanker, the others were "bone-dead", and at least Li Shiqing and Xiao Heyun were standing on the front of the vehicle, but were still blown to bits.
Although we don't know the purpose of the other party, but from the fact that no one in the car contacted the police and no one asked for ransom from the community, we can basically rule out the possibility of a group crime, after all, how to look at the probability that the suspect even blew himself up, saying that the possibility of revenge on the community is definitely greater than the crime for money.
Besides, bombs are not that easy to get, they are not firecrackers, and there are various types and patterns.
To put it another way, it's inconceivable that a person would go to such lengths to blow up a bus with a mini-bomb and an explosive device, without extorting hostages for money.
Now that they had "checked" the entire bus for passengers with larger luggage, excluding the three "suspects" who had already opened their bags, only the pressure cooker carried by the aunt was the least likely to be found in a closed container, and the most likely explosives carrier.
But on this matter, Li Shiqing and Xiao Heyun again disagreed.
Xiao Heyun doesn't think a pressure cooker is such a dangerous item because it's so common.
"It's normal for a normal housewife to carry a pot, isn't it?"
Boy saw that Li Shiqing was really scared and held her arm, "Maybe she was cooking for the family and there was something stewing in the pressure cooker and she was afraid that the flavour would escape, so she simply served it together with the pot?"
"My gut tells me there's something wrong with that pot."
Li Shiqing's heart swells with unease at the thought of the older woman's overreaction when she pulls open the plastic bag.
"If you were carrying just a regular pressure cooker, would you kick someone in the face when they opened your plastic bag? When you know someone is not in good health?"
"But it may not be a bomb, middle-aged women like that are just wary and may simply just not want people going through her stuff. And that scene you played was so flashy and fake ......"
Boy stole a glance at her and muttered in a low voice, "Only an honest man like Uncle with a bag could fall for that."
As we speak, the next stop arrives and once again the masked man gets on the bus, holding his hidden kitten.
When Li Shiqing didn't stop properly, the lady in the flower coat gave her a few more glances, and the man who gave her a tissue was hesitant to say anything, but didn't say anything until the end.
Looking ahead to the junction where they often hit tankers, Li Shiqing and Xiao Heyun discussed the problem and decided to get rid of the pressure cooker before the junction.
"What's the point of discussing plans now? Just go ahead and grab it!"
Li Shiqing didn't have as many worries as Boy and said with a frown, "It's just to confirm anyway, it's not like we're going to detonate, just open the pressure cooker and take a look! Even if I get it wrong, I'll get beaten up by my aunt or treated like a psycho, what's the damage?"
"Still, still have to open it, huh?"
"Tell you what, you hold the older woman down while I open it."
Li Shiqing had a strong feeling that the answer she wanted was in the pressure cooker.
have cycled through time so many times, failed so many times and died in vain so many times.
They have suffered so much, have suffered so much, and now that the answer has been delivered to them, when is there no time to fight?
"I'll go, just to make sure anyway, I'll give it a go."
Seeing that Li Shiqing is a girl who has gone out on a limb, Boy could not possibly back out at this point in time, obviously panicking, but still gritting his teeth and insisting on going on his own.
"You've asked her to borrow something before, she's already wary of you, and you going with me might be counterproductive. She's just a skinny old lady, and it should be easy enough for me to grab a pot from under her feet."
"In case it's going to blow up ......"
Li Shiqing gripped his hand nervously.
"Sooner or later, it's going to blow up."
With that, Boy didn't give Li Shiqing a chance to hesitate, stood up and headed straight for the aunt's place.
He moved very quickly and without any hesitation, crouched down next to his aunt's position and yanked the bag of the pressure cooker outwards.
The auntie was really panicked when she saw the man coming for the pressure cooker, but she didn't shout like the masked man or the old man before her, she just used all her strength to pull the bag with Boy in silence.
Seeing that her strength was not low Boy and that the plastic bag was soon to be won over, she gave an almost grimace and lifted her hand straight up to pull the pressure limiter off the pressure cooker.
The moment the pressure limiter was removed, a huge impact accompanied by an earth-shattering explosion swept through the two people closest to it.
Before Boy, who was tugging at the plastic bag, could react, there was a sharp, tearing pain throughout his body and he lost consciousness instantly.
Another new cycle of time.
The sudden explosion of the pressure cooker killed the entire car, including Li Shiqing of course.
But it was Xiao Heyun who was most traumatised by the blast and who was directly confronted by the explosive blast in his face.
Waking up from the time loop again, Boy is in such a bad way that he seems to be dying in the next second.
He was panting like a fish out of water, a "ho-ho" sound in his throat, as if he would pass out from suffocation in the next moment, and his body was trembling violently.
Li Shiqing, who was much less weak than he was, could only struggle to lift a hand and put it on his arm, trembling along with him.
Until then, they had thought that the fear of the unknown was the most terrifying, that the suffering of not knowing where the object of their harm was and struggling to find it and not being able to seek it was the worst.
Now that they have found the source of what caused them pain and witnessed the explosion, they realise that
--This horror of seeing an explosion happen in front of you and not being able to stop it is even more desperate than the unknown horrors that preceded it, the creation of those unexpected disasters.
While Li Shiqing only felt the crushing and tearing effects of the blast, Xiao Heyun felt it more deeply.
The moment he was blown up close, the pain penetrated from his pores and skin to his flesh and bone marrow, and in an instant he could feel his head, his limbs and even his bones all detached from his "perception".
It is not clear whether he passed out in the end because of the pain that went beyond the boundaries, or because he was frightened alive by his own imagination.
This fear went straight to the top when the aunt with the pressure cooker got into the car once more in front of them.
"How are you? Is it particularly hard?"
Li Shiqing woke up earlier and was more conscious than Xiao Heyun.
As she watched the aunt take her seat as if no one else was there, Li Shiqing trembled along with Boy, but the trembling was not due to a negative physical state.
"Don't anything happen to you, don't you leave me alone, I'm, I'm scared!"
The aunt had explosives with her and was sitting in the front row of them!
At this point, Boy was still in such intense pain that he couldn't hear what Li Shiqing was whispering in his ear.
It was a terrible pain, you could feel every inch of your body tearing and breaking, but you couldn't feel a single inch of your skin, muscle or bone. You can't move your arms or legs, it's as if everything is fake, but the only thing that's still there is the "pain" that keeps reminding you that it's real.
Xiao Heyun felt himself being broken and reassembled. He had never experienced such pain before, and every minute and every second in this state became unbearably long.
There was a moment when he wished only to die quickly, rather than suffer such pain.
And in another moment, Boy was secretly glad that he had gone alone.
How heartbreaking it would have been if it had been the little girl who had endured such pain with him ......
Half a day later, when Boy finally recovered from the terrible pain, the first thing he saw was Li Shiqing's tear-stained face, a messy crying mess.
He raised his hand to tell her not to worry, but all he could do was make a string of unexplained breath sounds from his throat.
"How are you? Is everything okay?"
At the sound of his raspy voice, Li Shiqing's tears fell even harder.
"Good, much better."
Xiao Heyun leans against Li Shiqing's body with his eyes closed in exhaustion, his body looking as if he has just been fished out of the water.
"I'll take it easy again, just let me lean for a bit."
This time his situation was so bad that he almost thought he wouldn't make it and just "dissipate".
It also gave him a vague sense of foreboding ......
The damage done in the time cycle may not be harmless to them, and the damage may not be "reverted" through the time cycle, and if their will is not strong enough, terrible things can still happen.
At least, for the pain he had just experienced, life was worse than death.
Li Shiqing let Boy lean on her, without any further prodding, or questioning what he had just found ......
Boy had just been in a situation that scared the hell out of her.
Whether she wants to admit it or not, Boy has gradually gone from being a stranger she doesn't know very well to a spiritual pillar she can trust and rely on, as they 'live and die together' and 'stay together'.
"Next time, whatever it is, we'll have to face it together!"
Li Shiqing wipes her tears and begins to regret leaving Boy alone to determine the situation.
"Even if we die together, it's better than being left alone in fear."
They are both ordinary, ordinary people who have been relying on each other for support and help, stumbling to get to this point, and when it comes to this joint, no matter who goes wrong, there is no way for the remaining one to hold on.
"This time it was an accident."
Xiao Heyun, knowing that the girl was frightened by her tragic state, wiped her tears with her hand and soothed her in as calm a tone as possible.
"You see, it was hard for a little bit, but didn't it recover after time?"
"It's good that you've recovered, I was afraid something would happen to you."
Knowing that Boy was worried about her, Li Shiqing also tried to calm her fears and make herself look less pretentious.
"And that sacrifice just now was not without value."
Boy recalls every detail of the events leading up to the explosion.
"I know what the detonator is ......"
"- is a pressure limiting valve."
Boy laughed bitterly and said, "I don't know how it works, but the pressure limiter on the top of that pressure cooker exploded violently as soon as the older woman pulled it off!"
Knowing who the culprit was and what the explosives were, they didn't have it any easier.
For this means that they will face an even tougher test.
But before facing such a tough test, Li Shiqing gave Boy an even 'worse' conclusion.
"It was so bad when you woke up just now that I pulled out my phone to check the time first."
Li Shiqing's face turned white as she recounted the situation.
"We were still awake at 1.15pm and the timeframe was stuck when the older woman first got on the bus ......"
Boy instantly understood the meaning of Li Shiqing's words and felt a blackness in his eyes.
"I hope I'm mistaken too."
She leaned close to her companion as if that was the only way to get a little warmth from him.
"But it seems like, God won't give us any more time ......"
Author's Note: A little theater.
Reader: Did the bomb go off today?
Author: (nods) Blown up.