A wooden bed.
I quietly laid on this wooden bed with a thin fabric sheltering me from the harshness of the world. Stone or brick? I wondered as I looked up, staring at a ceiling plastered with mortar; it looked like it was going to collapse on me at any moment.
Rays of light shone at the corner of my barely opened eyes. The source of it, a bright flame on my left.
Is it a…lamp?
Supporting this lamp was a wooden night stand.
*scratch scratch scratch*
The methodical sounds of a pen scrawling filled the air like a gentle lullaby cradling my consciousness; my eyelids drooped as my eyesight blurred.
I must’ve been saved.
I am still alive!!
Having confirmed my survival, my hazy mind raced to find an explanation for my current situation.
—————–Lady luck smiled upon me as the giant wave crashed onto me, barely surviving that harrowing ordeal. Soon after, I was rescued by a helicopter.
Seeing my dire condition, my rescuers sent me to the nearest medical center.
It was a newly erected, makeshift medical center, which explained the rustic decor of my room. Beside me was a doctor? Or perhaps a nurse; busily scribbling away on his/her desk. He/she was organizing the medical records of the survivors.
——————If this was an answer to a test question, it probably came the closest to the right answer.
Yup, there’s nothing to worry about, back to recuperating.
Wait a minute, this answer…seems a bit off.
I wiggled my hand; the sensation of a drip wasn’t there. With the severity of my injuries, there’s no way I wouldn’t need an IV drip.
Plus, even the most basic makeshift medical center wouldn’t use an oil lamp. Why would such an antique be used by the rescue team?
My peace of mind gradually disappeared as my theory collapsed.
I painstakingly turned my head hoping to catch a glimpse of the person writing.
*scratch, scratch, scratch…*
The scratching stopped as if in response to my efforts. With my eyes opened as wide as I could, I stared at the person who shifted to my bedside. However, in my weakened state, I could barely identify the blurry silhouette: a person wearing a brown rain coat?
The garbled message was delivered in a girls voice and from the sound of it, she seemed young. Did the tidal wave carry me all the way to another country? No, that’s not right. It’s probably a foreign rescue team, right?
Di Qi Ju: That…Excuse me, do you speak Mandarin?
Di Qi Ju: Where am I…What’s the situation?
Her silence only fueled my growing discomfort. I needed an answer! My unease-fueled mind made another desperate attempt at communication.
Di Qi Ju: What about the other survivors? My…did you locate…my parents.
Di Qi Ju: Did you locate the remains of my parents?
I was mentally prepared for worst at this point.
Perhaps she was just being considerate; trying to find the right words to break the bad news to me.
No matter what’s the outcome; even if it’s the end of the word…
…Come at me.
??: Mandarin, right?
Di Qi Ju: Ah…Yes.
Hearing my mother tongue being spoken has never made me feel so at ease.
??: Judging from what you just said…You’ve encountered a disaster?
Di Qi Ju: ……
What kind of an answer was that?
A disaster so terrifying, it could only be described as the second apocalypse and she wasn’t even aware of it? Don’t tell that those realistic but terrifying ten days were nothing but a dream or some VR experience.
Di Qi Ju: Of course. There was an earthquake and even a tsunami. Even if you didn’t witness it yourself, you should have seen the news broadcast right?
Di Qi Ju: Yes!
??: Tsunami…what’s that?
Di Qi Ju: ……
Di Qi Ju: …Huh?
??: Are you talking about a story from your world?
Di Qi Ju: My world?
Seeing my reaction, she reached out to her table and grabbed a shiny object, placing it in front of me. It was a mirror. Her intentions crystal clear, I shifted its angle and took my first peek at the world outside my window.
Illuminated by a soft light, I saw a dense jungle filled with a cacophony of unknown trees. In a small jungle clearing nearby, I saw a field of matchbox-like houses. This definitely wasn’t a scene from a 21st century city.
Each of these matchboxes were arranged in a unique fashion; a style that was completely different from the seaside city I visited.
Judging from this village, I probably wasn’t in China anymore. They all had an otherworldly feel to them.
Within this village, a group of people could be seen walking along a small road demarcated by a row of short fences and stones. They were carrying tools that looked like farming implements.
They weren’t of East Asian descent. Instead they resembled a fantastic hodgepodge of ethnicities.
All these sceneries seemed so foreign and yet so familiar. It was as if I had been thrown into a different world. A world where civilization had taken a detour and never looked back. An otherworldly paradise of sorts. A world different from my own…A foreign world.
Di Qi Ju: This……
??: This is the world I live in. Its name is [Westrealm].
??: Judging from the way you speak, your language is not one that is spoken by any of the races with a highly advanced intelligence.
??: This confirms my suspicions…From the moment I fished you from the lake, I suspected that you weren’t a native of this world.
Di Qi Ju: ……
Di Qi Ju: From the lake?
After compiling all the sensory information I’ve gathered, I pieced together a logical answer. It was easy really. As long as you renounced the devil known as emotions and put your faith in logic, the answer is clear as day.
However, there’s another possibility. Due to severe brain damage, I’ve started hallucinating.
Come to think of it, whenever I was feeling unwell, my test scores tend to be lower than usual. My speciality is after all, reading books and taking tests. I should probably take a break and face reality once I’m feeling better.
Having sorted that out, I sighed before slipping into unconsciousness.
Special thanks to 7STARDARK BLADE! The first ever patron of Catato Patch Translations.
Di Qi Ju (第七剧): His Surname, Di Qi means no.7 or seventh in Chinese while his given name, Ju, means a play/drama/show etc. Putting them together, you get the best name ever, 7th Drama.