Chapter 20 – Brother Xiao

Being shone on by blinding headlights should be infuriating but no one was angry.

Everyone was overjoyed and they all ran over and uttered, “You guys are back?!”

“The people who went exploring returned!”

“Great! They are back!”

The atmosphere instantly came alive and all previous hostility was swept away as if nothing had ever happened.

The youth who whistled smiled while saying, “What, why? Did you think we are all dead?!”

“Everyone was worried about you all! Eh? Why is your car different?”

“The car broke down half way.
We found this on the way, otherwise we would’ve been back already! What’s wrong with you guys? Why are you all outside?”

“The power in the rest area is out!”

“Then light the candles.
There are still plenty of torches left in the supermarket.”

Everyone got busy at once.
Their faces were brimming with joy as if they would always be full of energy if they had something to look forward to.
It was as if the power and water outage were just trivial matters, and there was nothing to be afraid of.

After a while, the restaurant in the rest area once again lit up.

Everyone gathered at one spot, surrounding the youths who had just returned, eagerly waiting for them to share news from outside.

The most eye-catching one among them was the person who whistled as soon as he got down from the car.
Everyone called him “Brother Xiao”.

This “Brother Xiao1” was wearing a graffiti T-shirt and a pair of ripped jeans.
His arms were tattooed with unreadable English, his messy short hair was dyed “granny gray”.
There was also a shiny stud on his right ear.

Saying he’s the most eye-catching one was not because his attire stood out.
In fact, the other youths were all of the same kind: each person’s tattoos were more garish than the next.
The holes in their jeans were bigger than the other.

Bai Youwei had a deep impression of this person just because his smile was TOO D A Z Z L I N G!

When she and Shen Mo talked to each other, they would smile, other people would smile too while talking in the rest area, but everyone’s smiles were subtle, restrained, and polite.
After all, the situation now was the apocalypse! Who would smile like an idiot showing their top and bottom teeth?!

Even if you encountered something exciting, you should still feel depressed thinking of your uncertain future, right?

This “Brother Xiao” was probably the ambassador of a toothpaste brand.
With all smiles, he narrated his impressive feat during the exploration with great passion.

“…The moment I saw the dolls on the road, I thought to myself that this is bad! This is the last road! If we can’t take this road as well, don’t tell me we have to return empty-handed?! As the saying goes, when there’s a will, there’s a way! Before I knew it, realization suddenly flashed across my mind! I noticed that there’s something wrong with these dolls!”

“What’s wrong?” Somebody in the background responded, just like the supporting actor in Xiangsheng2.

“Brother Xiao” stretched out two fingers and pointed at his eyes.
“It’s these discerning eyes that had noticed the unusual spot!” He spoke as if he truly meant it.

The youths who traveled together with him were all laughing.
They ate melon seeds3 while looking at him as if they were looking at a performing monkey.
“Tan Xiao, that’s enough, are you done showing off?”

“Brother Xiao” ignored them and asked everyone, “Does anyone know why we have to avoid places with dolls?” 

“That’s a no-brainer.
It’s because we will turn into dolls!” Someone instantly replied. 

“Brother Xiao” shook his head enigmatically, as if he would not continue until they answered correctly.

Everyone jeered and booed. 

The bespectacled man also smiled.
He said unhurriedly, “Individual dolls that appeared occasionally are usually not a threat.
But if a large amount of dolls appeared in a district all at once, we should be alert.
The current explanation from the experts in the national research institute is that the magnetic field of that particular district is fluctuating abnormally and can have unknown effects on humans, which is why you should avoid dolls.
Okay, Tan Xiao, say it quickly, stop keeping people on tenterhooks.”

The leader’s words still carried some weight after all.
Tan Xiao raised his hand and slapped his thigh just like a storyteller striking the jingtangmu4.

“Fine! I will say it then!” 

Among the eager gazes of the crowd, Bai Youwei couldn’t resist rolling her eyes. 

T/N: Here’s a mass release before my hiatus.
Yes, I’ll be going on a hiatus for two weeks as I’m having a test by then QAQ.  So I won’t be able to translate because I need to focus on my studies.
Wish me luck and see ya~


Xiangsheng(Crosstalk) is a traditional Chinese comic performance featuring jokes and funny dialogues.
It’s most commonly performed by two actors—the leading actor (Dougen) and the supporting actor (Penggen).eating melon seeds is a similar expression as eating popcorns

Jingtangmu is a wooden block used by a magistrate to strike the table in calling for attention

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