I looked at the backpack and then at Poker-Face. I couldn’t believe that he didn’t seem to have any knowledge here. “You…are you sure you’re like us and don’t know anything?” I asked him.
Poker-Face glanced into the depths of the gap again as Fatty looked at him. Their eye contact made me narrow my eyes in suspicion. Damn it, I think Poker-Face knows more information than I do.
But there was also doubt in his eyes, which meant that he probably wasn’t lying to me. The information he knew had something to do with the strange things happening to us, but this connection made him feel confused.
I turned to Fatty and said, “Don’t hide it from me. We’ve been wearing the same underwear for so many years.”
“If it was related to you, I’d definitely tell you.” With that said, Fatty jumped over to the backpack and kicked it.
I grabbed my gun and took aim as Fatty bent down, untied the backpack, and poured the contents out.
In an instant, countless mummified severed hands poured out from the inside and fell all over the floor. Startled, Fatty threw the backpack away and retreated to the other side of a nearby stone.
I took a deep breath as the musty smell of corpses permeated the air.
When Poker-Face squatted down and picked one up, I could see that most of these hands had very long fingers.
These were the hands of Zhang family members.
After death, the Zhang family tended to bring their hands back to the Zhang family’s ancient building for burial. On the one hand, it could prevent such corpse characteristics from appearing in the world too much; on the other hand, it also had the meaning of returning. No matter how the last generation of the Zhang family collapsed or how chaotic the ideological trend was, the Zhang family’s huge drive to keep moving forward was a habit that still affected all of the Zhang family members. It was very similar to how we always put up red paper during the Chinese New Year. No one forced us to do this, but we couldn’t resist the inertia ourselves.
After looking at the hands, I found that they all appeared to have been cut off. This was because someone was unable to bring all of the corpses back after a large number of Zhang family members had died, so they cut off their hands instead.
Off to the side, Fatty paid his respects and said, “Little Brother, this bag is your ancestral grave.”
So what did this mean? Last night, the three of us sleepwalked to a place where there were a bunch of Zhang family members’ hands? Or were there a bunch of Zhang family members’ bodies and we were the ones to chop the hands off?
We had been away for an hour, but the path here wasn’t easy to walk so we couldn’t have gone far in that time. In fact, it was actually half an hour’s journey both ways. Both sides of this passage were very narrow and we hadn’t seen anything strange along the way. The only possibility was that we had continued walking further into the gap and then turned back after walking for half an hour.
So, these hands were cut off somewhere in the passage up ahead.
But this was illogical. I picked up my phone and looked at the video again, feeling a little creeped out as I watched our smooth movements. Those little actions of ours actually proved that we weren’t possessed but were moving of our own volition. It was exactly how we moved when we woke up clear-headed in the middle of the night.
But why didn’t I have any memory of it at all?
No memory, no memory, possessed, no memory…
I glanced at Poker-Face, looked into his eyes, and broke out in a cold sweat as I had a sudden epiphany. This cold sweat surpassed all of the horror I had felt the whole way here.
I suddenly realized what Poker-Face’s meaningful expression meant and why he didn’t seem so superior in this place. Even with his god-like physique, he was the same as a mortal here.
I wanted to say something, but I was so scared that I finally just yelled to calm myself down.
“Heavenly gift.” I was shaking all over as I looked at Fatty, who was startled by my sudden shout. “We were bestowed a heavenly gift last night!”
“What do you mean?” Fatty was completely baffled. “Prolonged life? Little Brother doesn’t need it.”(1)
I looked at Poker-Face, “Am I right?!”
As Poker-Face nodded, there was a very faint but uneasy emotion in his eyes. He didn’t say it directly because he was so surprised that that familiar terrible feeling had reappeared.
I couldn’t seem to stop my trembling at all. Poker-Face had been tortured by his memory being split into countless fragments during those years that stretched on like a river. It was something we outsiders only felt a kind of empathy for after seeing it in literature and art. You felt a great sadness, but it was all just arrogance and grandeur. This time, however, I had experienced this feeling for myself. The sense of fear and despair was completely different from what I had previously imagined.
In fact, we had already experienced it once on the grassland, it was just that I didn’t think in this direction at the time. It appeared our sudden advance in those few days was also because of this heavenly gift.
So this is how it feels. This is what Poker-Face was feeling all those times before. I was myself last night, but he was another person. In other words, the horror of this heavenly gift is that my life becomes that of countless independent people.
“Go!” I picked up my backpack and looked at Poker-Face, “Let’s go! Come with me! We’re all leaving!”
Fuck! I should’ve listened to Xiao Hua, I should’ve listened to Xiao Hua! Poker-Face can never receive another heavenly gift again!
This definitely has to end! It’s over! Don’t give me any more drama!
Poker-Face grabbed me. My hands were trembling uncontrollably as I shouted at him, “Go! Get out of here! I’ll cover you, just go!”
You can’t forget everything you’ve experienced these past few years.
If he moved at full speed, he could get out of here quickly.
Fatty also reacted at the same time and started cursing as he looked around at the tunnel walls, “Fuck you! So you’re not done with your evil tricks?!”
Then he turned to me and asked, “Is this because Little Brother got away from the heavenly gift, so some higher power used you as a guide to bring him back? Fuck, what power is that? Is it at the bottom of the Kunlun Mountains? Can it not work without Little Brother or something?”
I didn’t know, but what did it matter? I knew I wasn’t a key person.
Poker-Face looked at me and shook his head, “It’s too late.”
“There’s still time!” I argued back. “I have logic and a lot of details about the grassland. Plus, we haven’t gone that far in. We still have time.”
Poker-Face held up my digital watch and pressed the interface that displayed the month. I took a look and found that the time had changed.
I rubbed my eyes, unable to believe it at first. I looked at the time carefully and then checked Fatty’s watch to make sure.
Our watches showed that we had been in here for a month. I felt cold all over as I took out my cell phone again. I had definitely confirmed the time before going to bed last night. Didn’t I even make a video? Wait, don’t tell me!
I watched the video carefully and was horrified to find that my video file folder on my phone was full of videos from the same angle—I had filmed the three of us almost every night. That other me had recorded videos every single night for a month.
So what I saw just now wasn’t actually the first recording like I had originally thought. There were similar videos on my phone for every single night spanning a whole month. I wanted to see the video from thirty days ago but ended up watching the one from last night.
I couldn’t describe the logic and my mind was a mess, but that wasn’t important right now.
So basically, after I fell asleep last night and woke up, a whole month had passed instead of a single night. But I had no idea what I did during this month at all.
I didn’t even know how far we had gone.
But there was no doubt that we had gone deep, which would explain why Poker-Face had been looking at the darkness deep in the gap.
He had discovered at that time that the darkness was different from the darkness we saw before going to bed, and even our resting place had changed.
Fatty lit a cold firework to illuminate our surroundings. The environment here was very similar, so I couldn’t tell a difference from where we were last night. Fatty climbed to a spot high up and threw the cold firework into the darkness ahead. I saw that there were countless mummified corpses without hands in this place. And in the middle of these corpses was a very small earthen temple with a mummy’s head on it. It almost seemed to be mocking us.
<Chapter 11><Table of Contents><Chapter 13>
(1) Per Tiffany: “Heavenly gift 天授” and “prolonged life 添壽” sound exactly the same in Chinese. They are both pronounced as “Tian Shou”. That’s why Fatty was confused at first.
Wu Xie’s panic attack had me like “I’m with you, Wu Xie. Let’s tie his ass up and get him the fuck out of there! Kicking and screaming if we have to!” Just like so:
8 thoughts on “Chapter 12 It’s Over”
OH NOOOO! I don’t want XiaoGe loosing his memories again 🥺
Damn, that description hit me like a rock!
Wait, i kinda lost, maybe because i skip a fee books. But what is heavenly gift? A restart program that force you to lose memories? Something like that?
Haha yeah, it’s mentioned in the last few chapters of Restart Part 1. It’s the explanation for why Poker-Face loses his memories
It’d been a month but his phone’s battery didn’t die on him while making an hour long video every night. Which model? 🤨
they have hand crank phone chargers haha
But it doesn’t last for hours or maybe I don’t know lol
Xiaoge aaaaaaaaaaaaah!!! You can’t lose your memories again, what if you forget Wu Xie and Pangzi?! This book continues to be freak me out 🥺