Chapter 2: Interdimensional Bracelet
Translator: xujin-t-t, _Min_ Editor: xujin-e-x, Lis_
The universe existed as a multiverse.
A butterfly’s wing in the Amazon rain forest may have caused the tornado in UA Texas. The butterfly effect could exaggerate any small changes to infinity. It could alter the path of the future.
Therefore, the understanding of the future is extremely uncertain and relative.
Jiang Chen, Male, 23 years old. An undergraduate student. He spent some time after graduation as a sales associate in a clothing store but has since been laid-off. The increased financial pressure forced him to make a difficult decision: to search for another job in Wanghai City or to go back to his hometown.
In his opinion, he did not want to give up so easily. To live in a major metropolis like Wanghai City was his dream since he was a child, and it was also what his parent’s expected. For someone that did not experience the world yet, he was eager to explore what the world had to offer.
However, he knew that the journey would be difficult. He got drunk. It was the first time since graduation where he drank alone till he passed out. After he let out all his frustration and sorrow, dizziness struck his head, and he became immediately unconscious. An unknown metal object directly hit his arm and fused with it. It disappeared as quickly as it has appeared. It was almost as if it never existed in the first place.
Then, he discovered a peculiar ability – time and dimensional travel
Of course, it took him several months before he realized it.
The strange looking pattern surrounded his right wrist like a watch. If one examined it carefully, the bracelet was shaped like an odd looking tattoo.
Then it obviously something was wrong because he never had a tattoo. He did not know why he became the chosen one. However, he understood at that moment, this was the opportunity of a lifetime.
Time travel? Dimensional travel? He didn’t have enough knowledge to understand these strange phenomenas. But one time he was struck by electricity and felt completely fine. That was when he discovered the tattoo’s empty bar filled up after absorbing around 100 voltages of power. Then, it met the requirements to perform “multiverse travel.” Multiverse travel itself costed half of the energy. Therefore, completely filling 100 voltages of electricity would allow for a round trip through time and dimensions at the expense of around 50 dollars. It was very economical. Not only did the tattoo had the ability to travel, but it also contained an alternative dimension that he could visit at any time. Hence, it was a storage dimension roughly one square meter cubed size. But because it costed energy to store and retrieve items, Jiang Chen preferred to use a backpack to store items. If he was not careful and lost the means to charge the energy in the apocalyptic world, then there was no way to come home.
Jiang Chen had a feeling that the energy storage could be upgraded, including the storage dimension. The functionality definitely could also be improved. He just didn’t understand how at the moment.
Charging the power was simple. Jiang Chen only needed to put his finger into an electric socket. Although this was not aesthetically pleasing in any way, it was perfect for getting the job done. How did he figure out? Like mentioned before, it was completely by accident.
The first time he time traveled, he found himself in an abandoned residence. The dust covered bed along with the corroded furniture spelled the timeliness of the place. He checked his surroundings as he began examining this timeworn house. With the information from a half-broken storage tape and old newspapers lying around, he gained some partial understanding of this world.
This world was a parallel universe similar to earth. However, the technology was clearly far more advanced. High rise buildings spanned across the landscape, but there were no traces of any civilization. Zombies and mutants occupied the once busy streets. Jiang Chen did not dare to step out without a weapon.
The time was the year 2190; the location was still Wanghai City. However, the difference between the two time periods was night and day.
The year 2150, global warming intensified. Excessive extraction caused shortages in all kinds of resources. An economic crisis ensued.
The year 2164, a political crisis in Poland triggered a war between Europe and Hua. The red army began invading westwards. The global politics, as a result, were in a tense period. It was worth mentioning that in this parallel universe, USSR was not dissolved in 1991, hence the global politics were divided into three organizations. First, UA-led alliances known as NATO, a Soviet-led Europa known as CCCP, and lastly, the Han formed PCA with the Southeast Asian countries. The rest of the forces remained independent.
The year 2171, the tension on Europa escalated as the CCCP declared war on the PCA. Both parties accused the others of initiating the warfare which caused the start of the third world war.
In the same winter, Hua and Japan launched a naval war over the conflict in the South Hua Sea. NATO and CCCP declared cooperation as fires spread across Asia. That year, Mongolia experienced a political crisis which caused further escalation between CCCP and PCA, with both sides amassing tremendous firepower on the borders.
The year 2172, the first nuclear weapon was detonated by the CCCP in Paris, which officially brought the third world war into tactical nuclear warfare.
The year 2173, this modern warfare was in a surprising stalemate. The entire world experienced nuclear fallout as the habitable, without a doubt, received significant destruction. The nuclear winter covered 80% of the land in snow. Nobody thought that such an ironic cause would end global warming. Refugees, starvation, diseases were all symptoms of this modern warfare. It only took two years to destroy humanity entirely. The total economic losses far exceeded the combined losses of the previous world wars. Due to this, peace came without a decisive victory for either side. Everyone knew that if the war continued, no one would survive.
New Year 2174, a peace treaty was negotiated and enacted. “Habitat Revitalization Program” was established to remove nuclear fallout. All nations participated in the funding of the program.
Fall of year 2174, the United Nations announced the abortion of the “”Habitat Revitalization Program” as the cells used to remove nuclear waste experienced uncontrolled mutation. At the same time, due to the attack by unknown militants, the mutated cells began to spread into major cities. The infected humans turned into zombies, as the human civilization entered a biological apocalypse. The law and order that once governed civilization, shattered in days.
The year 2176, The United Nations sent six colony exploration ships towards Kepler B in Alpha Centauri. These ships contained the last hope for civilization. These ships were meant to plant a seed in the universe, in hopes of finding a new world. However, this was completely irrelevant for the humans still fighting on the ground.
In the same year, the United Nations were dissolved.
The information contained in the newspaper only lasted till the year 2176. The remainder of the news came from an ancient diary. From the electronic clock that still ticked in the drawer, the time was June 2190.
By coincidence, the world he lived in was also June.
But within this timeline, civilization destroyed itself in just five years
After he had made a brief stop, Jiang Chen chose to return to the modern world. There were too many unknown dangers that it would be unwise to continue. He must first be thoroughly prepared.
After he had rested for two days, he bought a box of canned food, a box of sausages, and a box of instant noodles. Even if he did not consider staying overnight at the dangerous place, he brought three days of food, just to be safe.
The zombies during the day time seemed to have lost the majority of their powers. It eased the exploration in that area, as Jiang Chen carefully stepped across the middle of the street. He avoided the area concentrated with zombies before he found a mansion.
The high wall and Iron Gate made it look very safe. The yellow grass on the ground made the place look fairly outdated. The marble sculptures by the gate were no longer recognizable due to the corrosion from the acid rain. It was evident that the world was filled with pollution.
As to why he chose this place in particular? The answer was quite obvious. The rich looking mansion would contain some valuable items.
To his surprise, he did not find anything valuable, but he did find a girl that was almost starved to death.
Maybe it was because of the girl’s beauty that caused him to put his guard down, or because of his experience from the civilized world that made him not think about the possible danger. When he saw the despair in the girl’s eyes, she looked so powerless. He took out a bottle of water from his bag and fed her the water slowly.
[Saving the girl is the most important priority because maybe she will marry me in the end?]
Immediately, Jiang Chen took out the curry chicken from his bag. After the girl had smelled the aroma from the can, the same wimpy eyes looked at Jiang Chen filled with despair. He was a virgin himself, so there was no way he could have resisted the seduction, especially when a beautiful girl gazed at him with her watery eyes. He felt a wave of joy both spiritually and physically. So he took out his spoon in good heart and began feeding the girl with the flawless body.
After… well, there was nothing after.
Jiang Chen deeply regretted his decision.
The girl’s action accurately defined the story of the farmer and the snake.
After going through a couple of pieces of bread and a canned curry chicken, the girl whipped out the pistol without hesitation. She pressed the gun against Jiang Chen’s forehead as Jiang Chen was shocked in place. She then skillfully tied him onto the chair, as she interrogated Jiang Chen with what once belong to the former mansion owner, the whip.
Now, Jiang Chen realized what it meant to be carrying a full bag of food. He was fortunate that he met Sun Jiao who still had some conscience. If he instead met some cannibals or slave traders, he probably would have ended up as either food or product.
Of course, Jiang Chen could always activate the tattoo and travel back, but that meant his biggest secret would be exposed. If this girl “camped spawn,” then he could face even more danger.
He did not want to give up this “treasure land.”
Also, it took time to activate the time travel function. If the girl realized that something was wrong, there was no guarantee that she would not pull the trigger.
He didn’t want to risk it. The good thing was that they were able to reach an agreement.
“How would you transport the supplies here?” Sun Jiao questioned with confusion in her voice while reinforcing the mansion’s external defense.
“Of course my partners have ways to do so, you don’t have to worry about it.” Jiang Chen continued to bullshit.
The mansion had quite a bit of cash, but the value of cash in this world was drastically different compared to the original world. Jiang Chen wanted to look for gold and other valuables, but it was evident that the previous owner did not store any at home.
The painting on the wall may be quite expensive, but of course, these artists did not exist in the world Jiang Chen belongs to yet. So these painting would be worthless. The mansion, however, did contain some highly advanced electronics such as a hologram TV and automatic cooking equipment. But he soon realized that none of it functioned properly, so Sun Jiao was quick to answer his confusion.
“Oh, these things… ” After the nuclear explosion, the majority of the electronics ceased to function. But some parts were quite useful and valuable for the survivors.
Jiang Chen let out a sigh as he gave up on the plan of selling these electronics in the modern world.
However, since these existed before, there must be someone who could produce this equipment again. Jiang Chen knew that if he traded with food, there would be plenty of “geniuses” that would be willing to work for him. In this apocalyptic world, these skills were worth almost nothing.
For those technologists, if it was not high-end military weaponry knowledge, their life was no different than someone who lived in the slump.
Sun Jiao didn’t know what Jiang Chen saw in this mansion. Nevertheless, since her employer said that work needed to be done, she didn’t refuse.
“Let me be honest here; there is not much value in reinforcing this structure. If we don’t make a lot of noise, those brainless zombies will not find their way here. The area is also free from powerful mutants. This is a complete waste of…”
“Enough, I am not preventing the zombies. I know that if I don’t bother those disgusting things, they will not go out of their way to bother me. I am preventing intruders because I am pretty sure you don’t want your throat slit while you are sleeping.” He rambled as he gave Sun Jiao a hard stare.
“Okay boss.” Sun Jiao rolled her eyes as she hammered the last nail into the wood. She wanted to argue that nobody would bother entering into these buildings because they have obviously been looted.
As to why she is here, that was her secret.
“Do you have the map of this place?” Jiang Chen crossed his legs as he sat on the moldy sofa. He did not feel the slightest guilt for making a girl work this hard. It certainly was not the most enjoyable experience having a gun pointed at his head.
Sun Jiao was experienced in this type of work. She quickly reinforced the mansion with any materials she found.
“What’s your EP? I can directly send it to you.”
“EP?” Jiang Chen was confused.
“It is this thing.” Sun Jiao pointed at the computer on her arm. She grinned as if she had heard a joke. “You don’t have one?”
“… I can buy one,” Jiang Chen forced a smile. He felt uncivilized in front of this girl.
“That’s hard to imagine that you have the courage to explore the city without EP. Are you not afraid of the radiation level?” Sun Jiao sighed as she took out what looked like a large electronic watch from her backpack. She threw it to Jiang Chen. “Try it out.”
“Seems fitting…where did you get it?” Jiang Chen played with the EP. He was amazed by this world’s technological advancement, as the EP was as light as a feather. The crystal screen displayed Jiang Chen’s biological stats. It seemed to be a health monitor device.
“I found it from an unlucky guy’s body.” Sun Jiao grinned. The smile was certainly delightful, but a shiver went down Jiang Chen spine as if he just saw the devil.
User Name: Jiang Chen
Muscle Strength: 12
Bone Strength: 10
Brain Cell Strength: 14
Radiation Level: 11 (Safe)
Irregular Status: None
Cold sweat appeared on his forehead as he saw the radiation level. He almost forgot that radiation saturated the world from top to bottom. He wasn’t clear as to what it meant by a radiation level of 11, but he knew that before coming here, there was no way he could have been exposed to radiation.
“None of your abilities exceed 20… Come on, are you even a man?” Sun Jiao glanced at Jiang Chen with an arrogant expression.
“Do you want to try?” Jiang Chen responded with a furious voice.
“I am standing right here, why don’t you try?” Sun Jiao stepped onto the armrest of the sofa again, her eyes full of defiance.
[There was no way I will let this go. Nah, it it better to stay calm.]
Jiang Chen was quick to admit defeat. There was no way he could beat this “barbaric” girl. Even if the slim possibility became a reality that they did hookup, he had to prevent the girl from biting his dick off. He was confident that she would do it, if given the chance.
For these types of enjoyable actions, it would be more appropriate to do it in the modern world. If he had the money, girls would follow.
For no apparent reason, a person popped into Jiang Chen’s head. A girl who fired him and made him lose his source of income. The girl who made life in Wanghai City miserable. The girl who always held a bit*h face and a terrible attitude.
“What happened, my little boss, why are you silent all of a sudden?” Sun Jiao emphasized on the word little as she looked at him mockingly.
“Nothing. I just remembered something from the past.”
Sun Jiao, surprised by the calm voice that answered, felt a chill run down her spine. Although she was not afraid of the guy that didn’t even hit 20 in any aspects of combat, her years of fighting instinct rarely lied.
Sun Jiao was smart to keep her silence. There was no reason to offend free food. Life without the need to worry about food was something Sun Jiao never imagine. That curry chicken was amazingly delicious. On this wasteland, it would be fortunate to have a single piece of bread. The majority of the people here lived off of nutrient supplies. Something that never made you full, but kept you alive.
Also, the immature boss seemed like a genuine person.
Don’t be confused, the word genuine person had an adverse connotation on the wasteland. However, much to her surprise, she would rather spend time with “Mr. Good Man” than the “normal” wasteland person. At least she did not need to worry about waking up and realizing that she was tied up.
She thought about it, and with her slightly cracked lip, she let slip a small but delightful laugh.
“Lady, could you not laugh so maliciously?” He didn’t know why, even though her smile was beautiful, it made Jiang Chen shiver.
“Did I? Don’t you think I am very attractive?”
“Do I answer yes, or no…” Jiang Chen murmured as he stared at the gorgeous face.