Chapter 1: The Train…Has Derailed (Part 1)
“Ladies and gentlemen, the train will be arriving at Qingxuanbei Station soon. Passengers who are getting off, please retrieve your luggage and prepare to get off…”
Yu Jiaoniang was woken up by the cry of a child and heard the train announcement.
She was still groggy as she opened her mouth and gave a giant yawn. Then, she picked up the phone and checked the time: 14:28.
There were still four more hours until she reaches home.
Suddenly, a message popped up on Wechat—
[Yu Jiaoniang, the ancient painting that you discovered half a year ago has been completely restored. So we’ll need to work with your department in order to write the final report later.]
The sender was Yu Jiaoniang’s senior. They worked in the same antique facility.
In other words, they once worked together.
The person next to her was packing his things and preparing to get off the train. While Yu Jiaoniang made way for him to leave, she replied–
[But Senior, your news is just as it was before — unenlightening.]
Senior sent me a picture of the restored ancient painting. After sending a few smiley faces, he saw Yu Jiaoniang’s message.
[ ? ? ? Have you lost your mind, Yu Jiaoniang?!]
Yu Jiaoniang looked at the message, and suddenly felt kinda tired.
From the moment she quit her job to boarding the train to go home, she hasn’t had a peaceful day for more than a month. As one of the core staff being nurtured at the facility and participated in numerous major excavations, her resignation shocked nearly the entire northwestern archeology circle.
She was told off by people with disappointment in their eyes and they tried to convince her with all their heart and soul. Everyone spoke to her with sincerity, but each one of them was rejected by Yu Jiaoniang.
Her reason for her resignation was simple, “I want to be with my parents.”
Yu Jiaoniang replied with a dry “haha”. She took out a cup from her bag and got up to get water.
The train was approaching the station, and as she walked to the carriage connector, she glanced outside. Green hills and fields slowly passed before her eyes. The sunlight reflected off a river with sparkling waves.
The weather was good today.
The place where the water dispensers was, stood a tall man who looked to be approximately 1.85m, give or take. When he turned around, Yu Jiaoniang held her breath for a while.
The man’s facial features were clean and robust. His thick eyebrows slanted towards the temples and that pair of eyes seem to contain the cries of dragons and tigers. Anyone would be intimidated with just one glance from him. When he turned around, he revealed a sharp and well-defined jawline which enhanced his dominant aura.
Excavating at the archaeological facility all day, Yu Jiaoniang had never been this captivated by any man. The last time her heartbeat was this violent was when she crushed a skull.
In her heart, there was a voice clamouring wildly:
A tough guy from the northwest – I likey!
Until she caught sight of the cup he was using to get water, the world was silent for a split second.
Pink! Kitty! Cartoon picture!
Who poured cold water on her heart?
Hello Kitty, was it you?
Wake up, this man probably has a girlfriend or is gay.
Pink, soft, cute man. I could never.
Yu Jiaoniang looked at the large brown Feng Shui cup in her hand, which resembled one of an old man’s, and stepped backwards with a blank expression.
The man didn’t leave after getting water. Instead, he leaned on the wall of the carriage to play games on his mobile phone.
Yu Jiaoniang didn’t look up as she was scared to see him drinking the soft, sweet water with an arrogant face. That scene was far too beautiful to imagine.
She turned her head to see several passengers that were ready to get off, standing in front of the carriage door. They all looked lifeless as the sunlight shone through the window.
At that moment, the train shook violently, and the decelerating train suddenly sped up.
The unprepared passengers fell backwards, and someone had hit the door at the rear with a “BANG”! The people in front of him stumbled a few steps back and fell on top of him, forming a human pyramid. Then, everyone was crying, “Ah!” “Ouch!” and cussing.
Yu Jiaoniang only felt that the train was accelerating abruptly, so she was caught off guard, knocking her backwards into the carriage wall.
Her arm was held onto strongly. As soon as she let go, she saw a hand going to catch the brown glass of water that was about to fall to the ground.
Although he reacted quickly, the water cup was tilted, and the hot boiling water had spilled onto his hand.
The man hissed softly and handed the old man’s water cup to Yu Jiaoniang, and quickly walked to the sink.
“What’s happening!” Everyone in the carriage was stunned, and the carriage was filled with cries of disbelief and anger.
The train was about to arrive at the station. So around this time, the speed of the train should’ve slowed down. Why did it accelerate instead?
The people who were walking in the carriage had fallen badly, and the child’s cries became louder and louder.
Yu Jiaoniang followed the man to the sink. Her ears were full of the carriage’s loud commotion.
Her first reaction was to look up at the LED screen in front of the carriage – the current speed of the ‘Chaos’ train: 298km/h.
“We’ve passed the station! Why didn’t it stop! I want to get off at Qingxuanbei!”
Someone pointed out to the Qingxuanbei bullet train station that flashed past the window.
The train had sped past the bullet train station unexpectedly. Yu Jiaoniang could instantly see the shocked faces of the people that were on the platform.
Yu Jiaoniang held onto the sink and turned her head to look at the LED screen. The current speed of the ‘Chaos’ train: 332km/h.
The train has actually sped up so quickly in a blink of an eye!
“Quickly return to your seat.”
The man’s husky voice chimed in and when it reached the eardrums, Yu Jiaoniang’s heart trembled.
The back of his hand was red, and splashing cold water onto it, only made the redness more striking.
The man turned off the faucet and said, “It’s alright.”
With his pink Hello Kitty water glass, he turned and walked towards the front of the carriage.
Yu Jiaoniang didn’t dare to delay further.. As she passed the carriage connector, she saw the fallen passengers that wanted to get off the train, stand up. They were embarrassed and at a complete loss at what was happening so they yelled at the train attendant in frustration.
The carriage she was in, no. 14, was a mess.
Many people had fallen and things on the tray tables had slipped off. Cups of water were spilled everywhere. Some people were also struck by hard objects that unexpectedly fell, causing their foreheads to bleed.
Yu Jiaoniang’s heart was beating violently as she quickly found seat 14D and sat down.
Only then did she start to feel the pain from her ankle. She lowered her head and saw that her ankle had been scalded by the hot water earlier, with several blisters forming.
As it was July, she kept her clothings thin, wearing only a pair of shorts.
If it wasn’t for the man who caught the water cup, she would’ve burnt her entire calf.
“Hey! Hey! Why didn’t the train stop?!”
Two female train attendants were seen hurrying from the back carriage.
“Please don’t panic, everyone!”
The two female train attendants looked pale. It was likely that they had just fallen down, so their hair was a little messy.
“Stay in your seats, everyone!” They loudly advised and then quickly walked towards the front of the train.
青玄北 – Qingxuanbei – Qingxuan North
师妹 – Shimei – Junior Sister: Yu Jiaoniang’s Senior calls her this in the first message. I decided to not use pinyin or Junior Sister for consistency and flow.
师兄 – Shixiong – Senior Brother: This is what Yu Jiaoniang calls her Senior. I decided not to use pinyin or Senior Brother for consistency and flow.
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